KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The five-star basketball player from Shawnee Mission West came home from Argentina with some fresh jewelry.

A gold medal from playing with the USA women’s U18 team. But rising senior S’Mya Nichols never got a chance to see the court in Buenos Aires.

“I caught COVID down there. I was quarantined for five days while my girls went out and played the games,” Nichols said.

Even with COVID, Nichols still got to see her team win the gold in person and enjoyed her time in Argentina.

“It was really hard, especially in the moments in the game when everyone was hype and high intensity; that’s when I really wanted to be out there, just to keep helping, but give all I got on the sidelines.”

As Nichols prepares for her senior year, she and her trainer Victor Williams knows her ceiling is much higher than where she is now.

“I want to win Gatorade Player of the Year for Kansas. I want to lead my team to state again and keep going further. I’d definitely like to win the DiRenna Award but also commit [to a college]. Struggling with that.”

“S’Mya has a special knack to make everyone around her better. I think that’s one of her best gifts. It’s just who she is as a person,” Williams said. “When you think about players that can do that, those are the players that you see playing at a top level.”

As far as college decisions go…

“I opened my recruitment back up so then they just kept coming and now I have to go narrow it back down but I don’t know what I want. It’s still exciting though, I’m not stressed or anything so I’m ok.”