Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

    Easy decision for the ‘Pack’s newest

    Despite other offers new freshmen basketball recruits choose The Den as their new home
    Rachael Nolan, left, and Ndia Hall, biology freshman, pose in the Peace Quad.
    Jonathan Rowan
    Rachael Nolan, left, and Ndia Hall, biology freshman, pose in the Peace Quad.

    The Loyola’s women’s basketball team’s newest additions, Ndia Hall and Rachael Nolan, have learned to share more than just their responsibilities on the court.

    “(As roommates) we haven’t had any problems … yet,” said biology freshman Nolan, laughing.

    Nolan hails from Mobile, Ala., and graduated from McEill Coolen High School. At 5 feet 6 inches tall, Nolan was a “swing man” in high school.

    “I played everything from point guard to center,” Nolan said.

    Several schools recruited her, including the University of Memphis of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference rival Spring Hill. Before signing with another university, Loyola’s basketball team caught her attention.

    “I was at one their games, and I noticed how good they were, and I said, ‘I want to play with them,'” Nolan said. “The next day I spoke to Coach Dobee (Plaisance), and now I’m here.”

    Nolan is glad she chose Loyola, not only for the athletics program, but for the academic opportunity.

    She aspires to work with large, exotic animals as a veterinarian, although she has also considered pursuing an education in psychology.

    Over the summer, Nolan had surgery on her heels and underwent an intensive physical therapy regimen of sprinting and conditioning to prepare for this upcoming basketball season.

    Nolan says she is confident and excited for the games to start. She expects to be a utility player her first college basketball season and is ready for whatever is expected from Plaisance.

    “I love the girls I play with, and I love Coach Dobee. The team was awesome last year, and I would love to be part of that,” Nolan said.

    The other newcomer, Ndia Hall, biology freshman, is from Lafayette, where she graduated from Comeaux High School and competed in basketball, volleyball and track.

    As a 5-foot-9 inch power forward, Hall was also noticed by several schools, but chose Loyola.

    “It’s a good school, and when I visited, that’s when I really liked it,” Hall said.

    Hall played basketball in the Amateur Athletic Union, with Loyola women’s basketball assistant coach Alton Clivens as the head coach.

    Along with playing basketball for so long, natural athletic ability runs in her family’s bloodlines.Hall’s mother played basketball for two years at the University of New Orleans.

    Her father, Carl “Nickie” Hall, was an All-American quarterback for the Tulane Green Wave from 1977 to 1980, before the Green Bay Packers drafted him in 1981.

    Aside from her parents, Hall admires Lisa Leslie, former Women’s National Basketball Association center for the Los Angeles Sparks.

    After completing her studies at Loyola, she wants to pursue a career in physical therapy.

    Hall prepared for the basketball season by working out, lifting weights and refining her shooting in drills.

    “I’m excited for this season. I’m going to bring my best and hustle,” Hall said. “I’m hoping we can get as far as last season, or further.”

    Hall says she likes living with her teammate.

    “We have a lot in common, not just basketball,” Hall said. “It’s nice having someone I can relate to.”

    The team started practices about two weeks ago. They play their first scrimmage against McNeese State University Oct. 27 at Lake Charles.

    They play their first home game against Wiley College Oct. 9 at 5 p.m.

    Jaune Jackson can be reached at [email protected].

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