Athlete of the Week: Matthew Nikolay - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Athlete of the Week: Matthew Nikolay

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The Auburndale boy's basketball team is preparing for the state tournament. One player that helped them get there is senior point guard Matthew Nikolay. Nikolay has been playing basketball for most of his life.

"I've always had it, I've always been able to go out and shoot hoops you know," Nikolay said. "Whenever something's wrong, even diagnosed you know I went outside, shot some hoops, you know it's always been there with me."

In October the senior was diagnosed with cancer and now cancer free Nikolay has a different outlook on the court.

"I think mostly with losses. You know I used to get really down every time I lost but it takes you aside from the game a little bit you know you have to realize it's not your last time and it really helps," Nikolay said.

Nikolay leads the team in points averaging over 16 points a game. He's also the team leader in rebounds and assists.

"Being that top guy on our team now where all the other teams are looking to stop him. He's been amazing, he's had to play all 32 minutes for us in most games, great defensive player doesn't take time off from the defensive end either," Auburndale head coach Chad Weinfurter said. "Just a tremendous kid and a tremendous player I'm really glad he's on our team."

His coaches see him as a leader and his teammates see him as an unrivaled threat for opponents.

"He's probably one of the best point guards in the state of Wisconsin, I don't think there is anyone better than him. He'll give it his all no matter what," Auburndale senior forward Alex Marth said.

Nikolay and the rest of his teammates are getting ready to take on Mineral Point in the state semifinal in Madison on Thursday.

"It's every athletes dream to make it to state and some of us seniors are lucky enough to get to go down there twice in our high school careers so it's really fun," Nikolay said.

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