For the past four years, Cassidy Barrios has helped build the Nicholls State University women’s basketball program into an annual contender — the most decorated player in the history of the program.
Now, she’s looking forward to the next step, what she hopes will be a long, fruitful career playing the game for a living overseas.
Barrios gave an interview to The Times this past weekend and she said she’s busy working out, playing pickup and staying in shape before getting the call later this summer to learn her next team.
Barrios said her time at Nicholls was invaluable, a storied career that she said she will carry with her the rest of her life — no matter where her journey takes her.
“My decision to play for Nicholls was one of the best decisions of my life,” Barrios said. “Everything I learned and experienced while part of the program helped shape me into the player and person I am today. My experiences with Nicholls were amazing. It was an awesome journey and some of the best years of my life.”
Barrios leaves the university as unquestionably the best player in the history of the Colonels’ program.
A four-year starter, a three-time All-Southland recipient, a two-time Louisiana Player of the Year and a one-time Southland Conference Player of the Year, Barrios re-wrote the record books while at Nicholls, setting the program record for scoring, among countless other marks throughout her four-year career.
More important than the individual success was the team success the Colonels enjoyed in the past four years.
Nicholls has emerged from the middle of the pack in the Southland to the top in Barrios’ career.
As a junior, Barrios helped lead the Colonels to the Southland Conference Championship and the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
Last year, the team won 20 games and made the Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament.
“What can you say about Cassidy Barrios that hasn’t already been said?”, Nicholls women’s basketball coach DoBee Plaisance said during the past season. “She’s remarkable. She’s been impactful on the court and even better off it — a true, humble leader who has affected every part of our program in a positive way. … I say this all of the time. The day Cassidy Barrios decided to come here, Nicholls became a better place. That’s the type of impact she’s had on our program and on our entire university.”
Barrios said she hears the kind words and the praise she’s been given from people around the program over the past four years, but added that she never set out to break records — adding that those individual successes were all added blessings.
“I didn’t think about any of those things,” Barrios said. “I didn’t know what the scoring record was, whether it could be reached. I didn’t think about any of that. I came to Nicholls to try and get better as a player and a person and to help our team win and all of these other things that have happened — they’re just amazing. I didn’t know any of those things would ever happen.”
But all good journeys come to an end and Barrios is now ready for the next step.
She said the biggest adjustment to life after college is being her own boss, adding that without a coach to call practices or a schedule of games to play, it’s somewhat hard to get into a true routine.
“Sometimes, I lay in bed and say, ‘Man, I want to sleep another 15-30 minutes today,’” Barrios said with a laugh.
But she’s still getting more than her share of work in, working to stay on top of every phase of her game.
After college, Barrios hired an agent based in Europe and over the coming weeks, he will aggressively work to find her a spot playing at the next level.
Barrios said the waiting game isn’t her strong suit, adding that she’s been trying her best to stay patient while waiting to learn her future team.
In the meantime, she’s doing everything she can to stay fit and ready for when the time comes.
“I knew when my Nicholls career ended that I would have the opportunity to play again somewhere,” she said. “So now, that’s just my focus — to put in the time and the work and to make sure that I’m as ready as I can be when I get that call.” •