Academic All-Star: Nicole Kaczmarczyk

By Travis Eldridge

January 30, 2014 Updated Jan 30, 2014 at 6:32 PM EST

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Basketball may be the perfect sport for Nicole Kaczmarczyk's personality.

"I think I work better when it's fast-paced because there's more pressure for me to get it done," she said. "I work better that way."

The at-times frenetic pace the Union-Endicott girl's basketball team uses on the court is just the way Kaczmarczyk likes it. That's full of pressure.

"I mean she handles pressure really well on the court. In the classroom, in the testing environment she always does well," said Matt Morley, U-E's head coach. "I think when you get an athlete they tend to be good under pressure. They tend to want to have those situations where they're under the gun, so to speak, and they like that and they perform well."

And Kaczmarczyk has thrived under it. She currently leads the Tigers scoring more than 15 points per game, while also keeping a 95 average in the classroom. However, this year brought a few new challenges.

"This year is different because we lost all of our seniors so I'm just trying to be a leader more," she said. "But I couldn't do it without my teammates, they really help me out."

It's an adjustment for a girl her coach and former teacher said is a little shy in class.

"She's sort of quiet and reserved, she doesn't speak much in class," Morley said. "But when you're going after a rebound or going to the basket, she goes hard. So there's quite a bit of difference there."

It's a new challenge, but it hasn't slowed down Kaczmarczyk's fast-paced style one bit. That's why she's this week's Academic All-Star.