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Back in the Game


NIC basketball teams to compete in NJCAA this year By Gerry McCray, North Idaho College After moving to the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) in 2016, North Idaho College (NIC) men’s and women’s basketball teams are back competing in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for the 2023-2024 season.

The NJCAA is a national athletic conference that consists of more than 500 member schools across the United States, while the NWAC is a regional athletic conference that features more than 30 schools across the Pacific Northwest.

NIC returns to Region 18 of the NJCAA, which features teams like the 2022 NJCAA men’s basketball championship runner-up Salt Lake Community College and longtime NIC rival College of Southern Idaho (CSI).

“It’s arguably one of the top basketball conferences in the country with the likes of CSI, Salt Lake and Snow College,” NIC’s men’s basketball Head Coach Corey Symons said. “I am looking forward to seeing how we compete against them, and we’re working our tails off to beat them.”

NIC men’s basketball posted a 9-3 record against NJCAA opponents since the 2017-2018 season, and the women’s team holds a 4-9 record in that same span.

“I’m looking forward to bringing back the rivalry games that had gone on for 30-plus years,” Symons said. “Our Athletic Department at NIC has national talent, and I can’t wait to play the best teams in the country and try to get our program back on that list.”

In the past, NIC’s largest rivalry was with College of Southern Idaho, and those matchups were frequently met with big-time crowds, Symons said. NIC men’s and women’s basketball face off against CSI Saturday, February 3.

Nate Covill, NIC’s head women’s basketball coach, also said that he’s excited to see how his team competes on the national stage.

“I believe the most important thing our staff and I are interested in seeing is just how good we can become from the start of the year to the end of the year,” Covill said. “Watching a team improve, grow and gel as a single unit and not a bunch of individuals is one of the best feelings as a coach.”

This is the first year of NIC’s full transition to the NJCAA. All NIC Athletics will compete in the NJCAA beginning in the 2024-2025 season.

For up-to-date information about NIC Athletics including news, schedules and season tickets, visit NICAthletics.com.


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