'I wanna be like Nicole'
Mike Evans made his final bucket as a Kansas State Wildcat on March 4, 1978. It gave the 6-foot-1 Evans 2,115 all-time points, highest in Wildcat history.
Four years and nine days later — March 13, 1982 — Nicole Ohlde was born in Clay Center.
Wednesday in a 7 p.m. tip-off in Bramlage Coliseum against Iowa State University, with her second basket, the 6-5 Ohlde will tie the mark of Evans as greatest scorer — male or female — in Kansas State history.
"That's crazy," said Ohlde. "He was such a great player and there have been so many other great players in the past. We have such a tradition here in basketball that if that does happen, it's going to be an exciting time."
Yes, Ohlde said "if that does happen.''
"I really couldn't tell you how close I am," Ohlde said. "It will mean something, but it's nothing I've given any thought to. I'm sure when I get older it will be something I will look back on."
Laughing, she added, "But by then it will probably have been broken again."
If Ohlde doesn't know how close she is, all she has to do is go back to her Clay Center community and drive by the window of Distinctive Images, where store owner, Judy Lloyd, has the countdown posted.
But if not told, Ohlde admits to being "clueless" on such trivial matters as being greatest of the great in the great tradition of men's and women's basketball at K-State.
"When I step on the court my mind is on playing defense and what kind of offensive set I'm supposed to be in," Ohlde said. "That's what takes up my mind."
For the record, Ohlde, a candidate for the Naismith and Wade Trophy as Female Player of the Year, has 2,111 points, or four less than Evans recorded from 1975-1978.
She has scored 267 more points more than Rolando Blackman (1,844) and 406 more than her nearest female rival, Diana Miller, who netted 1,705 from 1987-1991.
On setting the women's record in this year's opener at Purdue, Ohlde said, "It was definitely exciting, but it was a tribute to my teammates and my coaches."
While Ohlde didn't ever see Evans in action, her father, Stan, did.
"He was a great outside shooter," said Stan Ohlde. "He played before the 3-point line or he would have scored a lot more."
And to have his daughter on the verge of erasing his record, dad Ohlde said, "That's pretty amazing."
Also pretty amazing is Ohlde's consistency.
As a freshman, she earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors when she averaged 17.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. She debuted against Wyoming on Nov. 24, 2000, by scoring 36 points, making 17 field goals and snaring 19 rebounds.
And that was in her first game!
"The only thing I remember about that game was it went overtime and we came out on the short end," said Ohlde. "Going in, I didn't know what to expect. I had no clue of what it would take to step out on the court and compete at this level. I had no clue."
Ohlde, a near 4.0 student in the classroom, averaged 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds as a sophomore, 18.4 points and 9.0 boards as a junior, and now 17.2 points and 6.9 rebounds as a senior.
She's a two-time first-team all-Big 12 honoree and last year earned conference Player of the Year honors and first-team all-American honors.
Oh, for the record, Ohlde has 954 all-time rebounds, which tops Carlisa Thomas (948). And for the record, that's only 115 behind Ed Nealy's career record of 1,069 set between 1979-82.
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