BY WAYNE PHILLIPS
SPORTS EDITOR EMERITUS
After four years at the University of Memphis, Greeneville's Nicole Dickson is now ready to take her basketball career to the next level.
Dickson, the former multi-year All-Stater from Greeneville High School who continued her high-scoring ways throughout her college career, will be heading overseas in the near future to play professional basketball.
"I'm not sure yet exactly where I'll be going, but I'm sure I'm going," Dickson said this week in a telephone interview from Memphis, where she was helping with the Lady Tigers summer basketball camp. "I should know something in a couple of weeks."
Dickson has an agent who is currently working with the European clubs to determine where she would be a good fit.
"Women's basketball is huge in Europe," she said. "The money for playing is actually better over there than it is in the WNBA. Several WNBA players spend their off-season playing over there. It's something I really want to do and I'm excited to have the opportunity to continue playing."
Dickson appeared destined for greatness from the time she began to shine at the middle school level, and she never let up a bit as she proceeded to have a stellar high school career.
Her prep exploits gave her the opportunity to play at the collegiate level, and her decision to go to Memphis had some local fans wondering if the young lady from small-town Greeneville would be able to survive in the big city. She didn't disappoint.
"Some people thought I wouldn't stay in Memphis, but I definitely knew I would," she laughed. "I wanted to play basketball and Memphis was where I wanted to play. I truly enjoyed my four years here."
She showed in her freshman year that she would be a force for the next four seasons as she was selected to the Conference USA All Freshman Team. Before she would finish there, her name would appear in the record books with regularity.
During her senior campaign she was named first team All-Conference USA. She ranked first on the Lady Tigers in scoring (18.9 ppg) and in rebounding (7.1). She also logged more minutes than any other Tiger, averaging 34.7 minutes per contest.
"I look back at college and I see how much I've developed over these four years," she said. "I became a better all-around player. I stayed in the gym for hours and worked on my game. It's been a great experience."
She finishes her collegiate career as the 10th all-time career scorer at Memphis with 1630 points. She is seventh on the career rebounding chart with 775 boards. She ranks sixth all-time in blocked shots with 61. Always a great perimeter shooter, she finished fourth in the Memphis books for three-point field goals made with 172.
She was the first player in Memphis history to be named Conference Player of the Week four times in a season. In 30 games this year, she scored in double digits in 28 of them.
Now her basketball career will continue as a professional, and she'll get paid for doing something she loves.
"I'm just thankful for the opportunity to keep playing ball," she said.