Nicole Kristen Powell (born June 22, 1982) is a basketball player who was a standout at Stanford University and has played for several teams in the WNBA. She has also excelled on the Fenerbahçe Istanbul squad in Europe. Powell joined the coaching staff of the Gonzaga University women’s basketball team, where she coached for one year. At the end of the 2014 WNBA season, Powell joined the coaching staff on the University of Oregon women’s basketball team (assisting head coach Kelly Graves) and retired from the WNBA.
Born in Sierra Vista, Arizona, Powell played for Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, where she was named a WBCA All-American. She also was named a 2000 Parade Magazine First Team All-American in 2000 and the Arizona Player of the Century by the Arizona Republic. She participated in the 2000 WBCA High School All-America Game where she scored fourteen points.
In addition, Powell during her high school years earned all-region selection in both tennis and track, won the state badminton singles championships in 1997, 1999 and 2000, won the state discus title in 2000, and was an Arizona 5A doubles runner-up in tennis in 2000.
Powell played the forward position for Stanford University women’s NCAA basketball team. During her tenure there, she broke many school records, was named an All-American three times, and won numerous awards. She majored in urban studies.
She is the only female basketball player in Pac-10 history to have achieved multiple triple-double games (that is, 10 totals or more in three different statistical categories) during the same season.
Powell was picked No. 3 overall by the Charlotte Sting in the 2004 WNBA Draft. She was used by the Sting as a utility player, appearing in 31 games. On March 3, 2005, she was traded to the Sacramento Monarchs in a multi-player deal. The trade greatly aided the Monarchs in the 2005 season while Powell enjoyed a breakout year and eventually was named the recipient of that year’s WNBA’s Most Improved Player award. She played a pivotal role in the Monarchs’ 2005 WNBA Finals victory over the Connecticut Sun.
Although the Monarchs struggled in subsequent years, Powell’s statistics continued to improve. In 2009, with several of her teammates hobbled by injuries, Powell averaged 16.7 points per game and was the best free throw shooter in the WNBA with 97.9% of attempts made. She also participated in the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game, where she scored 21 points off the bench.
The Monarchs ceased operations following their 2009 season. The New York Liberty selected Nicole Powell with the first pick in the ensuing dispersal draft. She was traded to the Tulsa Shock before the 2013 season and signed with the Seattle Storm before the 2014 season.
Powell was a member of the USA Women’s U18 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. The event was held in July 2000, when the USA team defeated Cuba to win the championship. Powell averaged 8.2 points per game and led the team in rebounding with 6.4 per game. Powell was named to the USA Women’s U19 team which represented the USA in the 2001 U19 World’s Championship, held in Brno, Czech Republic in July 2001. Powell scored 7.0 points per game, led the team in rebounding with 6.3 per game to help the USA team to a 6–1 record and the bronze medal.
In 2003, Powell helped the United States women’s national basketball team win a silver medal at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She also helped national teams win a bronze medal (in the Czech Republic) and a gold medal (in Argentina) at two other international tournaments.
During the 2008–2009 and 2009–2010 WNBA off-season, Powell contributed to Fenerbahçe’s victories each year in the Turkish women’s basketball league championship. In 2007–2008 she played for CSKA Moscow in Russia, in 2006–2007 for Perfumerias Halcon Avenida in Spain, in 2005–2006 for Fenerbahçe for the first time, also winning the country’s championship, and 2004–2005 Basket Spezia in Italy. Now Powell is a player of Polish team – TS Wisła Kraków.
• Position: Guard/Forward
• Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.88 m)
• Weight: 175
• College: Stanford University
• Team(s): New York Liberty, Sacramento Monarchs, Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca, Fenerbahçe Istanbul, Charlotte Sting, TS Wisła Can-Pack Kraków
Awards and achievements
• 2009 WNBA All-Star Selection
• 2005 WNBA Most Improved Player