Basketball star Nicole Worth slam dunks way to US scholarship

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By SHAUN MILNE

A PINT-SIZED basketball star has slam dunked her way to a scholarship at a top American university – despite being just 5ft 5ins.

Scouts have been tracking 18-year-old Nicole Worth, from Edinburgh, after she turned in a series of starring shows for her current team St Mirren.

She helped them win both the Scottish National League and Cup titles while picking up the Defender of the Year award at the same time.

TIPPED: Nicole
TIPPED: Nicole

Now the former Holyrood High School pupil is on course to join crack Midland Lutheran College in Nebraska as part of a £120,000 scholarship where she will also study Psychology and Primary Training.

Fresh

Before leaving this Thursday, she said: “I feel like I’m starting a whole new life. It will be really fresh and exciting.

“The great thing about playing in America is that you get to train six days a week on some of the best facilities in the world – and at the end of it you come out with a full degree.”

“I’m worried about leaving my family behind because we are really close, but I’ll be back during Christmas and summer.”

Nicole has been playing basketball since she was just 12-years-old, first as a member of Edinburgh Cool Cats before joining team Polonia Pheonix two years later, helping her side finish runners-up in the 2007 Cadette Scottish Cup final.

She also played for the Scottish national team at U14 and U16 levels, practising every day and playing at least two games a week.

But it was during her time with St Mirren that her potential was noticed by scouts who came to watch, something she pays tribute to her coaches for.

She said: “I was really nervous because I had to go to loads of interviews and they came to watch a couple of my games.

“Luckily I kept my cool and everybody was really pleased, especially the PE teachers at my school.

“They put so much hope and faith in me and they gave me extra time to practice which really paid off.”

The scholarship, which lasts four years, includes her accommodation, meals and tuition.

Nicole added: “Some people are surprised to find I’m into basketball when I’m not particularly tall.

“But it isn’t just about height. It depends what position you play.

“I’m a guard so I need to be fast and quick.

“I think it’s a bit easier for girls than boys .”

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