Ambassador / I AM A GIRL / NSW Legacy Program
Written by Jaylee Ismay
18 October, 2021

Basketball NSW is thrilled to share that Australian Opal, WNBL player and NSW Junior, Lauren Nicholson, has joined the I AM A GIRL (IAAG) team as our fourth Ambassador for the IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program.

The I AM A GIRL Leadership Scholarship Program is an initiative under the NSW Legacy Program for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022, proudly funded by the NSW Government.

As a junior, Nicholson started her illustrious basketball career in Sydney representing the Sutherland Basketball Association and worked her way up the Basketball NSW High Performance Pathway to represent NSW Metro at the Australian Junior Championships. 

It was in 2009 where she was first selected to play for Australia at the FIBA Oceania Under-16 Championship for Women in which she took home Gold and also in the inaugural Under-17 world championship in France where Australia placed seventh.

Nicholson would then begin her WNBL career in her hometown, as a development player, with the Sydney Uni Flames. Nicholson remained a member of the Flames squad through to 2011. She then departed to begin her college career in the United States to play basketball at Saint Mary’s College of California for the Saint Mary’s Gaels. 

Once returning from college basketball, she continued to find success within the WNBL resigning with the Sydney Uni Flames for 2016–17 season. From there, her talent secured her a role with the Adelaide Lightning, and in her second season with the team, Nicholson was recognised as the WNBL Defensive Player of the Year for the 2018–19 season. She then went on to play for the Townsville Fire for the 2020-21 WNBL season and is currently still rostered with the club. 

In 2019, Nicholson was named in her first Australian Opals squad, and from then has been an integral part of the team playing in various FIBA international tournaments. She also recently returned back to Australia after winning bronze at the 2021 FIBA ASIA Cup in Jordan last month. 

Speaking on her excitement in joining the IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program, Nicholson expressed her gratitude and shared her vision in helping lead the next generation of strong females within the game to fulfil their own potential. 

“It’s an honour to be asked to be an ambassador for the “I AM A GIRL” Leadership Scholarship Program,” said Nicholson. 

“I have had the privilege of working closely with other strong, confident women whether they are coaches, players or people around the basketball game who have inspired me to chase dreams and goals of my own.”

“My hope is to share stories and answer questions to inspire other women to do the same. I want females to have the confidence to lead in their own way and believe they can achieve their goals.”

“I’m excited to be a part of this program and I can’t wait to connect with you all soon.” 

Nicholson is our fourth IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program Ambassador and will be joining previously announced coaches Liz Mills & Carrie Graf along with international FIBA referee, Amy Bonner. 

“We are so excited to have Lauren join us in this space, she is truly a role model for our future basketball superstars who epitomises hard work and dedication in order to reach your goals,” added Basketball NSW, I AM A GIRL Coordinator, Karen Irwin. 

“Having someone of Lauren’s background and coming from NSW herself, is a shining light for everyone in our program to see someone like them reach success and represent Australia.”

The IAAG Ambassadors will work with our Scholarship holders in a number of key areas in order to maximise the learning and developmental experience by sharing their own basketball knowledge and provide support for girls wanting to step into similar roles within the game.

Basketball NSW will continue to announce further IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program Ambassadors over the course of the next 12 months, from all areas within the game.

The IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program has been offered free to 240 selected female players, coaches, referees, statisticians, scoretable officials, team managers, and administrators and includes a 12-month holistic program designed to encourage and inspire women and girls right across NSW.

 The IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program is an initiative under the NSW Legacy Program for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022, proudly funded by the NSW Government and aligned to its Her Sport Her Way Strategy.

Pillars of the NSW Legacy Program include:

 → Female Leadership Scholarship Program.
→ Education and participation programs delivered in partnership with Indigenous Basketball Australia and Savannah Pride.
→ Delivery of a basketball-specific ‘Daughters and Dads’ program.
→ Delivery of culturally specific ‘Daughters and Dads’ program delivered in partnership with Savannah Pride.
→ School holidays programs delivered state-wide.
→ 3×3 Basketball Tournaments delivered state-wide. 

A number of activations will be rolled out each year leading up to the FIBA Women’s World Basketball Cup 2022.

Click HERE to be redirected to the I AM A GIRL webpage.