The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Athlete close-up: guard Johnathan Bell

February 16, 2017

Photo by: Nicholls Athletics

Photo by: Nicholls Athletics

Senior guard Johnathan Bell has been playing basketball for majority of his life, but his journey of playing for Nicholls began only last semester.

Bell, a Los Angeles native, spent his years prior to Nicholls spent years playing for various schools. He started at the Impact Academy, a Las Vegas program that has helped to produce dozens of NBA players, and Garden City Community College in Kansas.

“It just makes you work hard and appreciate the little things,” Bell said on his experiences leading up to Nicholls.

“Bell’s progression has been good because when you look back at his junior college numbers he didn’t score a lot of points; he’s almost quadrupled his production from junior college,” Nicholls basketball head coach Richie Riley said.

So far this season, Bell has ranked third for the Colonels in average points per game with 13.2. Also he has taken second place in steals made by the team with a total of 48. These stats, which mark Bell’s highs throughout the season, come from scoring 21 points against Houston Baptist University and performing four steals against Stephen F. Austin State University.

“He’s just a competitive guy that thrives on trying to win everything we do,” Riley said.

Aside from a perspective surrounded by numbers, Riley believes Bell’s personality also plays an essential roll to the team’s success.

“He’s probably the most likeable guy on our team,” Riley said. “He goes out of his way to go hang out and spend time with everybody.”

“I could bring the guys together, because I could relate to all the guys,” Bell said.

In terms of professional basketball, Bell said that he thinks he mirrors Jamal Crawford, a guard for the Los Angeles Clippers.

“Coach has always said I could play any position, so I would play like a really dynamic guy in the league, like Crawford,” Bell said.

Bell has always been superstitious before games. He always beings with putting his left sock on before his right, and then puts his shoes on in the same order.

“I always wait until the last minute to get dressed because I like to listen to music first,” Bell said. “I always have a different playlist ready.”

Off the court, Bell has spent a lot of his time making rap music.

“I don’t do anything big, but it’s just something I like,” Bell said. “I like lyrical guys, and I don’t think I rap anything like J. Cole, but he’s a big inspiration with how he raps and brings himself to the table.”

With only a few games left to his regular season, Bell said he has big plans for the rest of the year.

“I want to climb back up in this league and get this Southland [Conference] championship,” Bell said.

Bell has set plans for after college as well, as he said he sees basketball being a part of his career for years to come.

“I’m trying to go overseas and play professionally while I’m still young,” Bell said. “After that, I plan to get into the business side of things. I have an internship set up this summer in San Francisco with a big sports agency.”

With so many years of experience under his belt, Bell said that he intends to stick with sports for as long as he can.

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