The Ledger spoke with FHS class of 2018 alum Nicole Buch earlier this month when she returned to Fairfield to start her summer break after her freshman year/season at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. Buch was working out with the Trojan girls’ basketball team who was conducting their first off-season workout with new coach Jeff Miller. The Ledger also interviewed the new Fairfield leader and will profile him in the coming days.
How have you been?
Good! It’s nice to be home and see everyone again.
What have you been up to?
Not a whole lot, just catching up with people and life guarding a little bit too, but mostly just enjoying being back.
Where are you life guarding for the people who want to come say, “Hello!”
The public pool.
How did the first year go, let’s start with basketball.
It was definitely rocky and I was definitely nervous. I was thrown right into the starting lineup and I played a lot so I had to adjust quicker than if I just would have been a normal freshman player. I’m grateful for it though because I think it was eye-opening and I learned and grew a lot faster than if I wouldn’t have played. It was fun, but I definitely had a lot of struggles, too. It wasn’t all pretty and awesome, but it made me a better person for sure and a better basketball player. I’m more excited for next year to be honest because now I’ve gotten the first year out of the way. I’ve never been nervous like that before and I couldn’t even play and I acted like I hadn’t played basketball my life because I was just psyching myself out.
Biggest highlight of year one?
Beating our rival Pitt State at home and it’s been 5-6 years since we beat them. The team chemistry of that game just reminded me of why I love this game. We had been struggling before that and it was just kind of a real good game for us.
What areas are you working on for year two?
Mostly mental stuff and having the confidence to compete with these girls so I need to go ahead and do it. The first year was all mental for me and I just didn’t think I was able to compete or even be here and play this much and I got in my head a lot. I think if I’m more aggressive like I played in high school but at a higher level, I’ll be the player that I was here. It’s really just mental for me and working hard and wanting to get better because every girl I go up against is as good or better than me so it’s really just wanting to compete.
Happy enough to return for year two? I know you love home.
Yeah, I wanted to run away first semester and I told my mom I couldn’t do it and it was too far away from home. I said I have a bunch of pressure on me and I want to just please come home, it’s fine, but they made me stay and said we would talk about it in the summer and I’m glad they did because the second semester was so much better for me and to me and I really enjoyed it. I actually found out second semester that I made the USA division II team, so we’re going to Brazil in July. That’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to that this summer.
Have you started shopping for outfits for the beach?
I have a couple things picked out. They said it’s not supposed to be super hot but we’ll get to go to the famous Rio beach. It’s 10 days and we play four games so obviously we’ll do some exploring.
Any things you’ve been Googling to check out while you’re there?
Christ the Redeemer statue, but we’re going to that. I want to see some things but I stopped searching online because there’s some sketchy things that pop up so I stopped.
We know you can’t cook, so who fed you in Joplin?
Chik-Fil-A! I went there all the time. I also had a teammate, Marlee Lett and her mom Jamie, who lived down there and cooked us homemade meals once or twice a week.