Lady Demons add trio of junior college signees

Northwestern State women’s basketball head coach Anna Nimz announced on Thursday the addition of a trio of players to the roster for the upcoming 2023-24 season. 

All junior college transfers, the Lady Demons add sharpshooter Mykaila Pickard, scoring guard Nia Hardison and a rim presence in Jenny Ntambwe. 

After two seasons at Southwest Mississippi where she shot 40 percent from the field across both seasons, Hardison, a Natchitoches Central product, returns home to suit up for NSU. Hardison tied for the Bearcat team lead a season ago scoring 10.8 points per game while contributing 2.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game. 

She had three different 20-point scoring outings, reaching double digits 17 times during the 2022-23 campaign.  

Hardison was a first-team all-district honoree for the Chiefs with now teammate Jordan McLemore in her final prep season at Natchitoches Central. She will be the first Natchitoches native to play for NSU since Meredith Graf did so from 2009-14. 

The Demons added some length and presence around the rim with the signing of Moberly Area forward Jenny Ntambwe from Coon Rapids, Minn. 

In her lone season with the Greyhounds, the 6-foot-1 Ntambwe made 13 starts averaging a solid 8.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Across her 27 total appearances on the season, Ntambwe had double-digit scoring games 12 times and double-digit rebounding games six times, with six other games with seven or more rebounds. 

She scored a season-high 21 points, going 7-for-8 from the free throw line against Highland CC of Illinois, one of her six double-doubles on the year. In the final three games of the season, Ntambwe averaged 10.7 points and 9.0 rebounds. 

The Demons picked up another deep threat with the addition Mykaila Pickard, a 5-foot-10 shooting guard from Anchorage, Alaska. 

Pickard spent the past two seasons at NJCAA power Collin College where she helped the Cougars to one of the best seasons in program history with a 28-1 record and a No. 7 ranking in the NJCAA Coaches’ Poll, receiving an at-large bid to the NJCAA Division I Tournament. 

Pickard averaged 9.6 points per game this past season, shooting 39.1 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc, adding 2.0 assists per game. 

She used the long ball to put up a career-best 30 points in a win at Hill College where she went 11-for-18 from the field and 7-for-12 from beyond the arc. Pickard scored in double-digit in five straight games at the end of February and early March and received all-conference honorable mention honors following the season. 

Pickard was a three-time all-conference selection, two-time first-team all-state selection and three-time Alaska 3A state champion for Anchorage Christian, going a combined 107-4 during her prep career. 

She also set the school record for made 3-pointer with more than 200 scoring more than 1,000 points in her prep career and voted the best 3-point shooter in Alaska by Prospect Athletes. 

Pickard and current Demon Jordan Todd played two years together at Anchorage Christian from 2017-19. 

Hardison, Ntambwe and Pickard join Jermesha Frierson from Shreveport ,who signed during the Fall, as the newest addition to NSU women’s basketball for the upcoming season.