For many student-athletes, committing to a school far away from home means adjustments — a lot of adjustments.
You’re on your own, and although you gain a great support system in whatever sports program you are joining, you lose the major support system you had growing up: your family.
The Arizona Wildcats women’s basketball team is full of these athletes, with players from Washington and California, Minnesota and Indiana, and even from as far as Germany.
One player who doesn’t have to worry too much about the out-of-state adjustments is freshman Bryce Nixon.
Nixon is, in fact, the only player on the current Wildcats roster from Arizona.
“I never really knew if I wanted to stay in-state or go out of state, so I was just trying to find the right fit. I think this really is the right fit for me,” Nixon said.
Nixon said that during the recruitment process, aside from UA, she was considering Oregon State, Oklahoma and Kansas State, but chose Arizona because of the opportunity to be a part of something special.
“I liked the idea of rebuilding the program. I like the coaching staff,” the 5-foot-10 guard said. “Trying to surprise some people this year.”
A Phoenix native, Nixon was rated as a four-star guard by ProspectsNation.com.
She played her high school ball for Arcadia High School, where she was named All-City three times, All-State Division II two times as well as Offensive Player of the Year and All-Arizona during her senior season.
Over her final three years in high school, she averaged 20 points and five assists per game.
She finished her career as one of only three high school players in Arizona since 1973 to score in excess of 2,000 points and dish out 500 assists.
Nixon comes from a family of athletes. According to her bio on the Arizona Wildcats website, her mom Shelley was a three-time All-American running track at the University of Texas.
Her dad Chuck played football at San Diego State University. She has an uncle, Troy, who played professional football for the San Francisco 49ers.
However, Nixon said that while she’s happy that her family can come up whenever need be, she’s not as reliant on them.
“It’s a good distance,” she said with a laugh. “My parents can come if I need them to, but also they don’t have to come.”
One thing that can ease the transition is having a close friend or two on the team, and when asked who that was for her on the team, Nixon had someone in mind.
“I would probably say Cate [Reese],” she said. “She’s my roommate, so we’re pretty close.”
As for the upcoming season, Nixon said that she’s looking forward to things getting going.
“I’m excited,” Nixon said. “I think I’m learning a lot, and I have been since I got here, so I’m really excited.”
Although she didn’t come from across the country, Nixon said that there was still definitely an adjustment, but that she thought that she was doing better than she expected.
“I think it’s been a pretty easy transition for me,” Nixon said. “I thought I would miss home a lot more than I do.”
Nixon will now look to help rebuild a women’s basketball program that has been waiting to impress, too.
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