May 4th, 2012
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. –The Master’s College women’s basketball program continues its off-season acquisitions by signing two more athletes with hopes of building a program to contend for a national title.
TMC’s stockpile of new talent includes Nicole Nitake of Torrance, California. Nitake, who will soon be a graduate from West Torrance High School, will aid the women’s basketball program as combo guard at the point guard and wing positions.
During her four-year tenure at West Torrance High School, Nitake was named co-most valuable player in the Bay League for 2011-12 and earned All-CIF honors. In addition, Nitake was also included on the Daily Breeze All-Area second team. In her final preparatory campaign, Nitake helped the Warriors advance to the postseason by averaging over 13 points per game. Max Preps ranked the versatile utility player 44th out of all California girls.
“She’s a game changer,” reports fifth-year Mustang head basketball coach Dan Waldeck. “She changes the game in every aspect. I watched her compete in a CIF playoff game. It was tied at halftime and [Nitake] single-handily changed the game by capitalizing off three to four straight steals and had the ball in her hand through the entirety of the fourth quarter. They won because of her.”
Further commenting on the new recruit, Waldeck stated, “She’s a competitor. She naturally makes her teammates better. While she’s a great offensive player, she can also cause major problems for teams defensively. She’s a fantastic athlete who has a matching attitude. I think she’s going to be great addition for years to come. I’m excited to have her.”
After visiting a variety of different schools last fall, Nitake admits that The Master’s College “possesses a unique community that will challenge my faith and bring me closer to the Lord. Also since class sizes are pretty small, I know I won’t be allowed to slack off during the year.”
With a standing reputation as a great and personable teammate that has high integrity both on and off the court, Nitake comes to TMC with the main goal of “improving as much as I can, as quickly as possible, and to help our team exceed expectations by winning championship after championship.”
Local Santa Clarita Valley product Kimberly Smither brings more to the Lady Mustangs basketball program than an intimidating 6-2 frame.
She brings heart.
“I’m excited to see her grow and mature in her faith,” reports head coach Dan Waldeck. “I’m eager to see how she wants to invest in others and be invested on and off the floor…both TMC’s campus and Kimberly are going to benefit from her aspirations.”
However, Smither’s size and skill set merits high hopes for the fifth year head coach.
“I’ve known Kim for a while and have always thought that she’s had great potential and a great skill set to work with,” Waldeck further states about the new recruit, “Our staff is excited to work with her on a daily basis and build confidence to her collegiate game.”
Smither dominated the court in her senior year at Saugus High School by serving as an enforcer at the wing and power forward positions. Even being set back by a minor injury in her final campaign as a Centurion, the first-team All-Foothill League athlete found her way into the record books by earning a spot as the school's all-time leading rebounder. In addition, Smither can also be found in the school’s top 10 leaders in blocked shots.
The new recruit also spent time in the California club circuit playing on the prestigious Swoosh Elite squad where she aided the program as a wing and power forward.
With plans to study Communication in hopes of pursuing a career as either a journalist or a sports broadcaster, Smither anticipates growing alongside her teammates and building friendships that will last well after her college years.
“I chose TMC because I’m very familiar with the campus,”said Smither. “I grew up going to the basketball camps Coach Waldeck hosted and also watched a
lot of the games. As a young kid I grew to love the school and it’s commitment to Christ and Scripture. My main goal as a Mustang is to help the team in any way this season and over the next couple of years. I want to inspire anyone to pursue their dreams and play basketball on a higher level.”
The Mustangs went 12-19 in 2011-12, finishing 5-13 in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Losing four seniors to graduation, the Lady Mustangs will be showcasing a younger squad in the coming season.
The Lady Mustangs season will begin the 2012-13 campaign with a showing at the Westminster Classic held at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tournament dates, times and opponents are yet to be announced.
To learn more about the other recruits for the Lady Mustang basketball program, click here: