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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Aaliyah Nye leads Alabama women’s basketball in NCAA tournament

CW/ Ethan Met
Alabama guard Aaliyah Nye (#32) shoots to score against Mississippi State.

With the Alabama women’s basketball team set to play the Florida State Seminoles in Friday’s first round of the NCAA tournament, senior guard Aaliyah Nye is focusing on her role as a team leader to bring the best out of her teammates. Nye has served in a leadership role for the Crimson Tide all season long.  

Nye utilizes her role as a leader to inspire her teammates through the team’s message of competing with “grit, love and gratitude.” 

“We’re going to be gritty, we’re going to show love to each other, and we’re just going to be grateful for the opportunity that we have,” Nye said. 

Nye’s philosophy has to do with building confidence and communicating at a high level. A large part of Alabama’s success this season has come off the heels of communication and shooting with confidence.  

“I think just coming in and giving everyone confidence, being leaders, communicating, and just coming in every single day competing,” Nye said. 

During her time with the Crimson Tide, Nye has had success not only as a leader but with scoring and playing at a high level herself. She finished the season earning second-team All-SEC honors as well as finishing tied for fourth in the country in 3-pointers made. Nye said her success is mostly due to her teammates and coaches. 

“My consistent teammates finding me open and my coaches putting me in a position to get me those shots,” Nye said. “And then obviously just working on my shot and getting in the gym.” 

Her teammate Sarah Ashlee Barker had high praise for Nye in the team press conference ahead of the game versus Florida State. 

 “She works hard, like really, really hard,” Barker said. “She’s not just a good shooter because she’s a good shooter; all the hours, I see it all the time. She doesn’t miss in practice, and there’s a reason you don’t miss in practice, because of all the work you put in. She’s not going to say that, but she puts a lot of work in, and I’m very grateful to have a teammate that works as hard as she does.”  

It’s important to note that playing in such a difficult conference has also led to Nye’s development as a player. She points out that playing in the SEC has prepared her for the level of difficult competition that she and her teammates will face in the NCAA tournament. 

“Playing in the SEC is tough,” Nye said. “It takes a lot of grit. I came from the Big Ten, and I can tell you that the SEC is more fast-paced and more physical, and I think it just prepares us more for the NCAA tournament.”  

The experience of losing in the Big Dance last season also had a huge impact. 

“Both of us have been in positions where we came to the NCAA tournament, we lost last year and we know how that feels,” Nye said. “So I think just having that experience so our younger players know how that feels and know what’s expected this time.” 

Head coach Kristy Curry also talked about the experience that was gained from playing in last year’s tournament. 

“Both [Barker and Nye] have been just unbelievable with their work ethic,” Curry said. “They’re not only vocal leaders, but they’re action leaders, and they’ve had an opportunity to experience the NCAA tournament a year ago. We didn’t like the end result of that. Their actions the past few weeks certainly have been great role models and examples. Like I’ve said all year long, we wouldn’t be sitting here without our leadership core group.” 

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