Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nishibun Named Female Athlete of the Year

Womens Soccer: Bree Nishibun 2012
Nishibun was a First-Team All American in the 2012 soccer season. (Jim Cummins)
PALATINE, Ill. – Bree Nishibun came into her second season as an athlete at Harper College with one goal in mind to leave a legacy behind. Her hard work was validated, and the star soccer player, who even gave softball a try this spring, was named the 2012-13 Harper Female Athlete of the Year.

“This award has allowed me to further achieve my goal, and for that I know I will have represented Harper College in the best of ways,” Nishibun said.

Nishibun competed for the Harper women’s soccer team in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, she was named captain of a team that eventually won the Region IV tournament and went on to finish sixth in the nation at the NJCAA DIII Women's Soccer National Championship. She also earned First Team All-American honors for the 2012 soccer season.

“She had an amazing work ethic and a great competitive fire,” said women’s soccer head coach Dwayne Cruz. “She was a great leader, and I would always know that no matter what, Bree came to play her best.”

This spring, she decided to go out for the Hawks softball team, where she patrolled the outfield and played in all but one of the team’s games and had the fifth-most hits on the team. Nishibun credited one-on-one coaching for her improvement in a sport she hadn’t played since her freshman year of high school.

“In a matter of a month-and-a-half, they took a girl who lives, breathes, and eats soccer into a seed spittin’, fly ball catchin’, base stealin’ softball player,” she said.

Academically, Nishibun received the Harper Academic Award and the N4C Academic Award for maintaining a GPA above 3.0 while competing for Harper.

Nishibun has a few soccer scholarship offers lined up right now and is weighing her options. A few  of those opportunities could send her west towards California as she plans to make the most out of her two years remaining years of soccer eligibility. She plans to continue studying physical therapy and possibly athletic training because she enjoys taking care of athletes.

 While her career may be over at Harper, Nishibun acknowledged the lasting impact her experience will have on her.

“The most fun part about playing at Harper was the relationships I built with my coaches, counselors, teammates, and other athletes. It doesn’t matter what sport you play because we (athletes) are all one big family,” she said. “Whether it was hanging out in the training room or working out, there were memories made everywhere and with everyone, and I will never forget that about Harper.” 

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