Nisha Long : The “Long” Road to Success
Nisha Long, the starting point guard for the Lady Indians basketball team, has once again defied the odds, leading the team to a second place finish in the South Atlantic Conference regular season. Long has had a tremendous season, leading the team to many unanticipated victories. In the SAC preseason rankings, the Lady Indians were ranked fifth. After being tied for several weeks with Wingate for the top ranked spot, the team fell to second in the conference after a recent loss to Newberry.
Nisha Long began her basketball career when she was just 9 years old. She grew up playing with her twin sister Kisha, who also played at Catawba as a shooting guard and graduated this past December. Long, a senior business administration major, attended Gaston Day High School south of Charlotte, where she also ran track. The friendly atmosphere and close proximity to her family led Long to choose Catawba. “The team is like a family. Everyone gets along and is really close,” said Long.
However, not everything has always been easy for Long. After giving birth to a daughter, Ja’Nyiah, getting back into shape for this season was a lot more difficult than it had been in past seasons. However, being in shape doesn’t appear to be a problem anymore for Long, who dribbles like lightening down the court, passing defenders with ease. This season, Long reached 1,000 points scored in her career at Catawba. This was a major accomplishment for Long, one that not many players ever achieve.
As the Lady Indians start preparing for the conference tournament, which begins on Wednesday in Hickory, North Carolina, Long is optimistic. “We couldn’t have asked for a better season so far. This is one of the best seasons that the Catawba girls have had in quite a while,” said Long. As an unselfish player on the court, Long credits their outstanding season to being able to play as a team rather than focusing on individuals. She also emphasizes the importance of being positive and encouraging to her teammates, even when times are tough.
Although excited about how the season will play out in the tournament, Long is a little nervous about what the future holds. She admits that she will miss her time spent at Catawba, as well as her boyfriend Jumal Rolle, who plays football for Catawba. However, she will not miss Christmas and Thanksgiving breaks away from her family due to basketball games and practices. While many people are trying to convince her to play overseas in the coming years, Long would rather stay in the area where her family is. One day, Long hopes to open her own business or work with her father in his bail-bonding business. “The important thing to me is to keep God first,” said Long. With God in her life, Long feels that everything else will fall into place.