Shooting for Excellence

Q&A with Embry-Riddle’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year

Aerospace Physiology major Nicole Tucker (’22) plays forward for the Eagles' Women's Basketball Team
Aerospace Physiology major Nicole Tucker (’22) plays forward for the Eagles' Women's Basketball Team.

Embry-Riddle has empowered Aerospace Physiology major Nicole Tucker (’22) to reach new goals – both as an aspiring physician assistant and a forward for the Eagles Women’s Basketball team.

What made you choose Embry-Riddle to continue your education and athletic career?

I chose Embry-Riddle because I wanted to be a part of a community. Academically, it was the best fit for me. The athletic facilities are amazing, and the department’s “Student-Person-Player” mantra really appealed to me.

What is unique about the Women’s Basketball program at Embry-Riddle?

Our program is only nine years old. Because it is new, we have the unique opportunity to develop the program while developing as individuals. I was lucky enough to be a part of the first team to compete in a post-season tournament. There have been so many other firsts in my time here, and to me, that is such a unique and exciting experience I wouldn’t get at many other places.

Describe the culture as a student-athlete.

Embry-Riddle gives you the space to view yourself as more than just an athlete. Our culture is structured around the mantra of “Student-Person-Player,” which highlights how important academics and community are not only to the university, but the student-athletes as well. Everyone in the athletic department wants to see you succeed and provides you with the environment, people and resources to do so. The culture has pushed me out of my comfort zone and has molded me into a well-rounded person.

How do you balance your academic and athletic responsibilities?

Asking for help! I’ve learned that my biggest asset when it comes to time management is asking for help and using my resources.

Looking back on your athletic career, what has been one of your most memorable experiences?

My freshman year when we got an at-large bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regional tournament. That was such a memorable moment because we had six seniors that year who had worked so tirelessly to build the program. They deserved to be the first women’s basketball team to reach the NCAA tournament for all the work they had done, and seeing their reactions to their hard work paying off was priceless!

You were recently named Female Student-Athlete of the Year. What does this achievement mean to you?

Representing my team by earning that award meant a lot to me. I have worked so hard during my time here in so many aspects, and to be rewarded for that effort with such a prestigious award solidified all that work I had put in. I couldn’t have done it without my coaches pushing me out of my comfort zone and my teammates challenging me every day.

What advice do you have for future student-athletes?

Learn from the people around you. The people at Embry-Riddle are truly one-in-a-million, and the best thing you can do with your time here is learn everything you can from them. Open yourself up to constructive criticism, new experiences and new people. If you do this, you’ll see immense personal growth simply from listening to the great people the university surrounds you with. Another piece of advice would be just to work as hard as you can every day – you are only an athlete for so long, and it goes by quicker than you think!

What are your career goals upon graduation, and how has Embry-Riddle prepared you?

I hope to become a certified physician assistant and am currently applying to programs. The rigor of Embry-Riddle’s academic programs along with the extensive mentorship I’ve received here has given me the work ethic to pursue my career goals with experience and confidence.

Collegiate athletics is just one of many opportunities Embry-Riddle offers students who enjoy being active. Whether you’re looking to play at a competitive level or just enjoy casual games with friends, you can find state-of-the-art facilities and a diverse range of collegiate, intramural and club sports teams at our residential campuses.