Photo Provided. 
Natalie Nickless and University girls varsity head coach Justin Blanding
Photo Provided. Natalie Nickless and University girls varsity head coach Justin Blanding
University’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers will keep putting up shots after she graduates high school.

Natalie Nickless announced Friday night that she has committed to playing college basketball at Indiana University Kokomo.

About a dozen schools recruited the 5-foot-10 marksman, Nickless said, and she’d narrowed her final choice down to IUK, Oakland City University and St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

In the end, IUK won out.

“I think the most important thing was that (IU Kokomo) has an abundance of academic majors to choose from,” Nickless said. “I'm not completely sure what I want to study yet so to have plenty of options is important to me. Plus it's an IU degree so going there gives me access to IU and Purdue programs.”

Nickless said she also chose to become a Cougar because of the school’s basketball program. “I love how competitive it is, and the coaching staff is very committed,” she said. “I also knew going in to it that I wanted to go to a smaller school, so IUK is a great fit.”

Nickless transferred from Carmel to University during her sophomore year, where she became the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made with 129 in a 91-38 win over Indianapolis Scecina Memorial Jan. 4. The Trailblazers also set a single-game scoring record in the contest.

“I've been really blessed with so many opportunities to grow at University,” Nickless said. “The record I broke was actually held by a family friend, Tyler Diehl, who had 128 3s in his career. I’m up to 149 … so I plan to pass my goal of 150.”

In 21 games this season, Nickless is averaging 13.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals per contest.

University (14-7) is set to take on Indianapolis Metropolitan (5-14) Tuesday in the first round of its sectionals bracket.

It’s the start of Nickless’ last string of goals to accomplish as a Trailblazer.

“The ultimate goal is to win a state title,” she said. “But our immediate goal is the sectional championship. Other than that, I just want to have fun and enjoy the time I have left with my coaches and teammates.”