File Photo/The Lion’s Roar
After averaging 6.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 13 blocks for the Lions men’s basketball team in 2020, sophomore guard/forward Nick Caldwell is looking to lead the Lions to a 2021 Southland Conference title.
Caldwell, a 6-foot-7-inch Geismar native, committed to the university after being heavily recruited by former head coach Jay Ladner and current head coach David Kiefer.
Caldwell spoke about where his love of basketball came from and how his dad supported him through every step of the way.
“Ever since I could pick up a ball, I played basketball,” shared Caldwell. “I played a lot when I was young in AAU tournaments, REC ball and in high school. My dad would support me all the way from stuff like buying me basketball shoes to paying for all my AAU tournaments. He was there for me every step of the way.”
To Caldwell’s surprise, his freshman season was easier than he expected it to be coming out of high school.
“Coming into my freshman season, I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult than it really was,” explained Caldwell. “We only won six games, so that part was a little disappointing. We were a very young team with nine freshmen. It was expected for us to only win six games.”
After only winning six games, Caldwell expects the Lions to improve on their win total in 2021.
“We had a lot of freshmen play last year, so we have underclassmen with a lot of experience now,” shared Caldwell. “We also brought in some guys that are capable of helping us win some games, along with five transfers who really know how to play.”
Caldwell explained how last season was difficult for him at times because of his weight of 200 pounds at the forward position.
“I put on some more muscle this off-season and got myself up to 215 pounds,” claimed Caldwell. “My main focus on the off-season was to make myself bigger and stronger, and adding a few pounds definitely helped me with that.”
The Dutchtown alumnus shared what his favorite memory as a Lion has been so far.
“I would definitely have to say our first game against William Carey University,” explained Caldwell. “That’s when I had my career high, and even though it was an exhibition game, it was still cool to play in that game.”
Along with playing basketball in high school, Caldwell was also a member of the Dutchtown baseball team.
“One thing I regret doing was quitting baseball when I was a sophomore in high school to focus on basketball,” said Caldwell. “I am a huge baseball fan and wish I would’ve played all four years.”
The Lions will open up their 2020-21 season on Nov. 25 with an opponent to be named later.