Take one look at the stat sheet, and you’ll see that Egypt native Nadine Soliman is adjusting well to life as a student athlete in the United States.
The UNCG shooting guard is the highest-scoring freshman in Division I women’s basketball, averaging 18.1 points per game for a total of 308 points so far this season.
She’s not only one of the best freshmen in college basketball – she’s one of the nation’s top players. Soliman is No. 22 in total points scored and No. 48 in points per game (as of Jan. 10).
“I’m so happy and proud of myself,” Soliman said. “My country is proud of me, too.”
Soliman’s success isn’t a surprise for those who have watched her on the world stage. She’s the captain of the Egyptian national team and was the top scorer last year.
It’s her international experience, coupled with her family background, that has prepared her to emerge as a leader on the court. Soliman’s father, Mohamed, represented Egypt in the 1984 Olympics, and her mother and brother have also competed at the international level.
“My family keeps pushing me,” Soliman said. “My dad has helped me a lot – he’s taught me how to be more confident.”
Soliman doesn’t just believe in her own abilities – she believes in the team and its potential.
“I think the chemistry is really good,” she said. “I can tell it’s growing with each game.”
Soliman is part of a freshman class that new head coach Trina Patterson is relying on this season. The trio of Soliman, Te’ja Twitty and Alexis Pitchford has accounted for more than half of the team’s scoring.
“The freshman class has the ability to become a dynamic group,” Patterson said. “They are women of character – fearless, passionate and hardworking.”
With conference play now underway, the competition is stiff. But Soliman is approaching each game with the expectation of winning.
Her ultimate goal? Win the Southern Conference tournament.
“I believe in our coaching staff, and they believe in me,” she said. “I think the next few years are going to be really good for UNCG women’s basketball.”
UNCG (9-8) will host Mercer in its Southern Conference home opener on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. at Fleming Gym on campus. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for youth (12 years and younger) and seniors (55 years and older) and $2 (per person) for groups of 10 or more. Admission for students is free with a valid UNCG student ID.
For more information, contact the UNCG Ticket Office at 336-334-3250.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography by Carlos Morales, UNCG Athletics