Nicole Morrison’s captivating career ends with the Hawks’ playoffs hopes

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Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

Nicole Morrison’s legendary career with the Golden Hawks has come to an end.

The Wilfrid Laurier University women’s basketball team’s season had an unfortunate finish with a loss against the Lakehead Thunderwolves in the OUA playoffs last Wednesday.

The season’s conclusion not only marked the end of the year for the Hawks, but it also meant that a number of players have now played in their final games for Laurier, including the school’s all-time leading scorer Nicole Morrison.   

Although the Hawks’ season had an unfortunate conclusion, Morrison’s impact on the Hawks during her time at Laurier cannot be overlooked.

Coming into this season, many expected Morrison to make history as she was on pace to break numerous school records.

She was able to set the all-time scoring record for Laurier against Lakehead on Feb. 17, adding to an already impressive list of accomplishments in her career.

The Hamilton native was also recently named to the OUA Second-Teams All Stars squad, making it her third time being named an OUA All Star.

But perhaps the best achievement of Morrison’s career was her constant improvement and growth on a yearly basis.

“Every single year I looked in retrospect at things I could be better at. I definitely criticized my own game and I came back every summer and focused on things I need to work on. If you put in the work over the summer, you can get way better,” Morrison said.

Her hard work over the years paid dividends on the court as Morrison was able to improve at least one aspect of her game every year.

The steady increase in Morrison’s points-per-game every season directly correlated with her increased playing time.

Once she became a staple of the Hawks rotation, Morrison transformed into the leader that this team desperately needed.

Losing a player of Morrison’s caliber will be difficult for any team not only on the court, but off the court as well.

Add the fact that the Hawks are also going to lose five others players from this year’s team, next season is going to be a challenge for Laurier, to say the least.

Morrison, however, has the utmost confidence in the players that are returning for the Hawks next year.

Morrison’s historic career has come to an end, and it’s fair to say that she will always be remembered as one of the greatest athletes in Laurier history.

“The girls that are coming back next year are capable of filling those shoes. The team really just has to focus on playing team basketball and playing for each other,” she said.

“Teams that are successful are ones that can work together and work as a unit. I think the girls have learned a lot this year and I think they’ll be successful.”

Even though Morrison will not be playing collegiate basketball anymore, she still plans on staying involved with basketball in some capacity.

When asked about how she is going to include basketball in her life going forward, Morrison brought up the possibility of being a member of the coaching team for the Hawks.

“I think I need to take a step back and look at where I can fit basketball into my life now that I’m not a player. It’s definitely going to be hard for me,” she said.

“If possible, I would like to work with the team in strength and conditioning. I feel like in my entire career, one of my biggest strengths was being physically fit and I feel like that’s something I may be interested in doing for the team later on.”

No matter what Morrison decides to do in the future, she will always look back at her time with the Hawks as beneficial.

“In life, in the workforce, or anywhere in general, you have to work with people,” Morrison said.

“And playing basketball for Laurier, I was able to fill many roles in the five years that I was here and I think that’s definitely something that can help me in the future. Being a part of a team sport is so beneficial for your life skills and that’s something I definitely took away from my time here.”

Morrison’s historic career has come to an end, and it’s fair to say that she will always be remembered as one of the greatest athletes in Laurier history.

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