11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
(What you won't find on Facebook...even if you are approved as a friend)
Hometown: Cosgrove, Iowa
High School: Clear Creek Amana
It came down to Central and one other school. Everyone at Central was much more welcoming and friendly, which made it an easy choice.
You are majoring in Exercise Science with a minor in Chemistry because…
Last year I studied athletic training because I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist, but this summer I had a change of heart and decided I want to be an orthodontist. I already had a lot of the exercise science major requirements completed because of athletic training, so it made the most sense. It also allowed me to minor in chemistry. If I could do it all over again, I would start out with biology and minor in chemistry.
Who is your favorite professor?
I would say it’s a toss up between Keith Jones and James Dunne. I’ve only had one class with Keith Jones, but I never stopped laughing that whole semester. Both of them are really funny and easy to talk to and are really good at answering any questions.
What is your favorite Central College memory?
My favorite memory is probably going to Puerto Rico my freshman year for basketball. The beach was only a block away. It was just really fun hanging out with my teammates for a week.
What do you love most about being a member of the Central Dutch basketball team?
I love that we have so many different personalities on the team and how well we are all coming together this year. It just makes every day fun and I feel like there is never a dull moment because of it.
What is the best thing about being a 3-point shooter?
I really like when you make a 3-pointer at home and it gets the crowd/your team going. Then, when you are on the road and you make a 3-pointer, it silences their crowd and all you can hear is your bench cheering. Also, it’s worth more points than any other shot, so that’s pretty cool.
Which teammate is most likely to shatter the backboard on a dunk?
If we are talking about the Nerf hoop in my room, then that would definitely be me. But if we are talking about a real basketball hoop, then I would say Ryan Kunkel. Just watch him in warm-ups and you will see. He tries to rip the rim off every time.
What is one thing people do not know about head coach Craig Douma?
That he is probably still the best shooter on the team.
Where did you get your nickname (in a recent Central Close-up, Spencer Boeyink said he would “dish dimes to Nile the Crocodile”)?
Well, I made it my name on Facebook my freshman year for some reason and some people just kept calling me that.
What is your favorite activity to do in your free time?
My favorite activity would probably be beating Fred Pratt and Dennis Forrest in FIFA, which I do on a regular basis. I also really like to golf in the summer when I have time.
Which is better: NBA basketball or collegiate basketball?
I would say college basketball because of the atmosphere that comes with it. Also, the upsets that happen during March Madness are really fun to watch. But I love watching Stephen Curry and Kobe any day, too.
Who is your favorite basketball player of all time?
I would have to say either Reggie Miller or Allen Iverson. I really like Reggie because he is one of the best shooters of all time and he was really good at talking trash and getting inside other players’ heads. I don’t know how to do that, so I think it is pretty cool. I really liked Allen Iverson because he was so short and small, but he was still able to score and put his team on his back. His shoes are real nice, too.
What is the most memorable basketball game you’ve ever seen (live or on TV)?
There are two that really stick out. Last year’s Big Ten Tournament game between Iowa and Michigan State. Iowa lost, but the place was so loud and it was the best basketball atmosphere I’ve ever experienced. Also, the Ladies Above The Rim’s last intramural game where Gabbi Muse (women’s soccer) went off.
Who is the one person, past or present, that you’d like to have lunch with?
Probably Barack Obama because I really want to know all the government’s secrets and find out the answers to a lot of conspiracy theories. But if he wouldn’t tell me any of that, then I would have to say one of my great, great, great grandparents, so I could find out my whole family history and where everyone came from.
“This season I hope that…”
This season I hope that we accomplish all of our goals as a team, win the conference tournament, have fun winning and have a great time in Puerto Rico.
Bucket list (list items that you want to do/accomplish in your life)
Travel to the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, anywhere in Africa, Ireland, France, England and Russia
Scuba dive/swim with a shark
See a blue whale
Go to an NBA basketball game to see Stephen Curry or Kobe Bryant
Go to the Masters
Become twitter/instagram famous (twitter: @NiTheScienceGuy Instagram: @nileckermann)
Be a good dad
Become a dentist/orthodontist
Try and have fun every day with as little stress as possible
See previous close-ups.