When you look at Chelsea Basketball Senior Nicole Bareis you don’t get intimidated by her 5 foot 8-inch thin frame. And she has a mild demeanor and a big smile. But when the whistle blows and the ball’s tipped off, she’s a whole other person. Nicole, Nic as her teammates call her, plays much bigger than her size and tougher too. She is the team’s leading rebounder and one of the top rebounders in the Ann Arbor area. She is tenacious and will do anything it takes to help her team win. She outjumps girls taller than her and rips the ball away from girls seemingly stronger than her.
“I’ll do whatever is necessary to help my team,” the muti-sport athlete declared. ” I’ll dive on the floor, take a charge, whatever it takes for the team. If I’m on the bench I’m screaming my head off cheering for my teammates or shouting instructions to help other players out.”
Nicole is one of 4 seniors on a very young Chelsea team but her leadership is apparent in all she does, on and off the court. She helps the younger players out and she has earned the respect of her opponents who always try to shut her down or get her off her game. She also has earned the respect of her coach.
“Nicole is a very great team leader,” Chelsea Head Coach Todd Blomquist said of her. “She works hard and is a great rebounder and is our team leader in that category.”
“I believe as a senior I need to be a leader,” the star forward stated. “I believe if I lead others will follow and they will then be able to lead themselves. I want to be the type of leader people look up to.”
Nicole brings an intensity to her favorite sport unlike others do. But not only can she defend really well and outjump others, she also can score from all over the court. And for an intense high-octane player, she has a very soft touch on her free throws.
The third generation Bulldog has been playing sports as long as she remembers. Her other main sport is soccer where she has lettered all 4 years of High School. Surprisingly, the sports figure she admires most doesn’t play either of her two main sports.
“I’ve never done swimming but I really admire Michael Phelps,” the academic all a’s student stated. “I really like his worth ethic and his positive attitude about winning or losing. I really love with all he has achieved how humble he has remained.”
In her spare time, Nicole likes to spend time with her friends and her family because that makes her the happiest. Her father Mark was a star athlete for Chelsea and Nicole follows in his footsteps in many ways. She also has a twin sister, Abby, who played soccer on her varsity team with her. Rounding out her family is her very supportive mom Sheri, younger brother Ryan, and her sweet loving dog Toby.
Nicole plans to attend Grand Valley State after High School but she is going to focus on academics, not athletics.
“High school sports has made me the person I am today,” Nicole said. “I’m going to really miss it, playing on a varsity team.”
One thing she won’t miss about High School she says is all the drama and negativity.
“I don’t like drama,” Nicole said. “I don’t like being a part of it or in the middle of it. I can’t stand to see it happen to others.”
When she graduates in June she knows she has done a good job and hopes others have learned from her. She hopes to have left her mark on and off the basketball court.