Holley’s Blackburn finds silver lining in injury prone college basketball career

Contributed Story Posted 26 November 2018 at 9:12 pm

Contributed Photo – Nicole Blackburn

Holley’s Nicole Blackburn is on the precipice of her best year of college basketball. In spite of being in constant pain, the 5’10” red shirt senior has gotten the opportunity to experience something no other Mary Baldwin University senior has in 7 years. Winning.

Blackburn’s senior season was cut short last year when she tore her left meniscus just 2 weeks into the official NCAA Basketball season. She thought it might be over as this was the same knee she had her ACL reconstruction done on her freshman season. By the end of December she was back on the court for two contests, but the pain was too much and she was forced to sit out the balance of the games.

The Fighting Squirrels went on to win just 2 games last season to go with the 2 games they won her junior year.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. Now the fighting Squirrels captain Blackburn accepted the “2018 Pride. Spirit. Honor. Tournament” Championship trophy as Mary Baldwin (6-1) swept the tournament and defeated the host team Penn State Harrisburg Lions (4-2) 80-64.

“I’m so excited to be playing a meaningful role on a team that is deep with talent.” she said after the game. Nicole finished the contest with 13 points, 6 rebounds and a steal. “Ultimately I feel this team could be looking at a chance to play in the Div. III NCAA Tournament.” she added.

But it’s not just the team looking to make history. Blackburn is on pace to finish her career in the top all-time in rebounding for her school. An accomplishment she hopes one day will land her in Holley’s “Wall of Fame.”

Blackburn and the Fighting Squirrels start Conference play November 30th at Salem University.