Athlete Spotlight: Armani Nicolis

Armani Nicolis is the captain of the Sonoma State men’s basketball team.     

He is currently a fifth year and is majoring in American Multicultural Studies and minoring in Film and Philosophy.  

He grew up in LA in Culver City and went to Culver City High School.  

Nicolis started playing basketball in sixth grade and made that decision because he felt that football was too violent and jokingly stated that baseball was not a fit because, “I didn’t want to stand at the plate and have balls thrown at me.”  

Nicolis’ dad played basketball as well and though a cliché, he states “it was the first thing they handed me as a kid.” 

Like many athletes, Nicolis has his own way of preparing for each game.  

As a ritual he always puts his left sock on before his right and dresses bottom to top. 

Some rituals might seem odd to non-athletes, but these small actions are what put players in the right mindset to play and win each game.  

During the warm-up Nicolis listens to hip-hop and rap music but is not the kind of player to be closed down and just listen to his music. 

Instead, he tries to stay loose and interact with his teammates; this interactive nature with his teammates before game-time is what makes him such a great leader.  

According to fellow teammate, freshmen Jacob Williams, “Armani has been a mentor to me since the beginning and I hope he is able to take basketball further.”       

Williams states that Nicolis biggest attribution to the team, other than being an incredible player, is that he makes an incredible leader. 

Nicolis loves the aspect of competition in the game of basketball, but most of all his fellow teammates. 

 He describes being on the team as “having 16 other brothers.” There is no question why Nicolis is a captain, he shows incredible leadership on the team and off.

Beating Chico at ‘Pack the Den’ night, being the biggest home game for the team, was his best memory from last season.  His hopes for this upcoming season for the team is to make playoffs and hopefully win league.     

For anyone that has not heard of Pack the Den, it is similar to homecoming for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.  

Coach David Broome’s hopes for Nicolis is “to lead by example and pick up where you left off last year.”  

When asked about the hopes for the team as a whole, Broome answers “we want to play up-tempo, be tough, and unselfish and get back to the success we had the year before last.”

When asked where he sees himself after college he answered, “if I don’t play professional basketball, I am going to get my masters degree, but I want to use my god given ability as long as I can.” 

Nicolis, along with the other men on SSU’s basketball team, are very talented and their games are full of students, families, and friends.