In Nikki Moody’s room in her apartment she keeps a list full of goals – little aspects of her life she wants to get better at and things she looks to accomplish. Over the past few years she has gone over the list with her mother, Chrystal Moody, and the two talk the items over. At the beginning of the season the two wrote down a few pertaining to basketball: break the Iowa State assists record and to be a better teammate.
“I think that my mom talking to me a lot about things I want to do and things that she feels like I can do kind of just made me start the list,” Moody said.
The list has served as a motivator for Moody, who sees it not as goals, but as what she plans to accomplish – a to-do list of sorts.
On Saturday, Moody is on the verge of checking an item off of that list for good as she needs just one more dime to hold Iowa State’s school record for assists. The senior has racked up 719 career assists, tying Cyclone great Lyndsey Medders, in Iowa State’s last game against Texas Tech.
Moody spent most of her career avoiding discussion of the record, and most specifically the number of assists she needed to break it. It was a secret for most of her senior year, how many assists she was away from the mark. She only found out her number the day before the Texas Tech game. She needed nine to tie and 10 to break.
Entering Tuesday night’s game against the Lady Raiders, there was an energy on the court each time Moody earned an assist.
“At halftime Brynn said ‘you have six all you need is four more,’” she said. “‘I’m going to go out there and get it for you.’ Seanna was talking about it, Fallon was talking about it, and I just told them if you make shots you make shots and if you don’t you don’t.”
If there’s one thing Moody gets about the point guard position, it’s that an assist requires two players, one to pass and the other to make a shot. She is thankful that her teammates have helped her so much along the way.
“Without my teammates I wouldn’t be there,” Moody said. “Without Hallie (Christofferson), (Chelsea) Poppens, (Anna) Prins and all the guards I’ve had I wouldn’t have this assist record. Honestly as much as I’m happy I have it, it makes me even happier that they’re happier for me because of the fact they know I’m accomplishing what I want to accomplish.”
Though she is poised to take full ownership of the ISU assist record, her time at Iowa State isn’t over yet. Moody looks to lead Iowa State to four-straight NCAA Tournaments and she also looks to run out of that tunnel again, which is her favorite moment during her time at Iowa State.
Moody joins a long list of Iowa State point guards, from Lyndsey Medders to Alison Lacey to Stacy Frese and Lindsey Wilson. Moody understands that she will forever hold a spot in Cyclone history. All you have to do is take a quick glance in the Iowa State record book and see the rich history at the position. A history that most colleges can’t touch.
With Moody eclipsing 700 assists Iowa State becomes the only school among power five conferences – and likely the only school in the country – with two student-athletes reaching 700 career assists in the last 10 years. To put this in comparison, 40 of the 65 power-five schools have never had a player reach 700 assists. This stat goes to show not only how hard it is to reach 700, but also how exceptional Iowa State is at developing point guards.
Moody credits Iowa State and head coach Bill Fennelly for helping her develop as a player. She also credits the strength of the Big 12 Conference and playing against point guards like Odyssey Sims, with whom she is friends, and Tiffany Bias.
“They’re great point guards and you have to live up to that and you have to compete with that and I think that’s helped me a lot since I’ve been here,” Moody said of playing against Sims and Bias.
As her time with the Cyclones winds down, she is looking forward to the next steps in her career. She hopes to continue her basketball career playing professionally in the WNBA. Though the WNBA is getting closer, she still looks to close out her career at Iowa State on a high note.
“I just want to be remembered as a person who didn’t give up, a person that didn’t quit no matter what was thrown at me,” Moody said. “I handled it the best way I could and I came out stronger at the end.”