Nicole Ohlde Born: March 13, 1982 (Clay Center, KS)
Graduated: Clay Center High School, 2000;
Kansas State University, 2004
If you list Nicole Ohlde’s accomplishments through her career on the hardwood, it would take pages. It is no wonder that she is often referred to as the most decorated women’s player in Kansas State University history.
Ohlde was born and raised in Clay Center where the foundation of her legendary career began. Her athleticism had immediate impact once she entered high school as evidenced by her eleven varsity letters in volleyball, track, and basketball. She was named an All-State basketball player by at least one publication during her sophomore, junior, and senior years. She was also an honorable mention USA Today All-American as a senior. Ohlde captured the 4A state high jump title as a Clay Center senior in 2000 with a leap of 5’-6”.
Following her prep career, Ohlde decided to play at Kansas State University under head coach Deb Patterson. She was a star the minute she stepped on the court for the Wildcats as a freshman, starting 24 games and averaging 17.2 points per contest on the way to being named the Big XII Freshman of the Year and an all-conference selection. As a sophomore, Ohlde averaged 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest and earned first-team All-Big XII Conference honors.
Ohlde was on her way to stardom entering her junior year and she did not disappoint. Averaging over 18 points per game and grabbing 9 rebounds per contest, Ohlde was named the Big XII Player of the Year and was a first-team All-American selection.
It is often hard for athletes to duplicate such success the following year, but not for Nicole Ohlde. Her senior campaign was one of the greatest years by any Wildcat in school history. She was again named the Big XII Conference Player of the Year, again named a first-team All-American, and yet again was a finalist for the Wade Trophy and the Naismith Player of the Year awards. To top it off, she was named the Big XII Female Athlete of the Year as well.
When her career at K-State ended, Ohlde had re-written the school record books, including marks for career scoring, rebounds, blocks, double-doubles, free throws made, and minutes played. She still stands second in school history in points with 2,241 and rebounds with 995. The Wildcats made three NCAA appearances and won 80 games Ohlde’s final three seasons at K-State.
Ohlde didn’t just shine on the court however. She was a three-time Academic All-Big XII first-team member, was a Senior CLASS Award finalist in 2004, and was a recipient of the Collegiate Basketball Award of Excellence as a senior as well. Needless to say, Ohlde was the embodiment of the student-athlete.
Ohlde was selected as the sixth overall pick of the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. She played seven WNBA seasons with the Lynx, the Tulsa Shock, and the Phoenix Mercury, where she won a WNBA championship in 2009. For her professional career, Ohlde averaged nearly nine points and seven rebounds per game. Ohlde retired from the WNBA following the 2011 season.
Ohlde’s number three uniform was retired by Kansas State University following her last game at the school in 2004.