Great Britain International and WBBL Sevenoaks Suns playmaker Gabby Nikitinaite has verbally committed to NCAA Division One Northern Illinois University.
The 5ft 11″ Guard got a lot of interest from colleges all across the USA in the Big East, ACC and PAC-12 conferences to name a few where we get to find out a little more into her decision to join NIU in the Mid-American Conference.
How does it feel to get a USA scholarship?
It feels phenomenal…it’s something I’ve always wanted since I started playing basketball as well as joining Sevenoaks Suns and watching the older girls being able to take their talents to the States.
How did the process go of finding a school in the USA?
It was super hectic, leaving the process kind of late, and then when the schools started coming through it was difficult to compare where I could see myself as there were a couple of schools I took strong interest in.
What are your goals once you get to Northern Illinois?
Personal goals would include becoming a better player, using the environment to develop my skills and contribute to a pro career (hopefully). Whereas with NIU, I want to make the programme successful in any way possible, the turnaround that Coach Carlsen and the coaching staff have produced is what amazed me and that’s what I want to further contribute to.
How important do you think it is for UK players to take their talents to the USA?
I think it depends on where your priorities lie…if you want to pursue free education and be able to play high level basketball then for sure it’s the place to go. I’ve spoken to many players that have graduated from the US and the majority have shared positive experiences so I can’t wait to get out there.
And finally, anyone you would like to thank.
I could write the biggest list of people who have helped me in my career so far but firstly I’d like to give a special thanks to the main man Steve Vear – who has helped me a lot in terms of getting exposure for colleges…even after moving out to LA (and getting married a few days ago – Congrats again!) he had been working non-stop.
Also my parents who have helped and supported me from the start. I’d also like to thank my coach – Len Busch who has given me the best opportunity to develop my game at Sevenoaks, being able to play with and against older players from a young age is what has made me successful so far and I appreciate everything he has done for me.
Finally quick shout out to some senior players at Sevenoaks – Cat Carr, Anne Pedersen and Ta’Yani Clark that have been guiding a youngen in all kinds of way – appreciated.
We want to wish Gabby all the success at Northern Illinois over the next four years.