When Falmouth native Katie Nelson decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal, she only had one destination on her mind.
“I went in with high hopes of being able to transfer to Wisconsin specifically and I’m just really grateful that it ended up being able to work out that way,” she said.
After playing basketball for four years at Boston University, the 5-foot-8 point guard will head to the University of Wisconsin next season and play for the Badgers in the Big Ten Conference as a graduate transfer student.
So why Wisconsin specifically?
Marisa Moseley, Katie’s head coach at BU the past three seasons, became the new head coach of the Badgers last month. Katie said the opportunity to play for her coach for a fourth season, albeit in a new location, was too good to pass up.
“I think that it’s going to be a really big jump for me, but I’m excited because I’m competitive and I know that Coach Moseley is going to put me in a position to be successful,” Katie said.
Katie will make this jump to the Big Ten after being one of the most successful players for the Terriers in the Patriot League over the past four years. During each season, she was selected as an all-league player. As a freshman, she made Patriot League All-Rookie Team. As a sophomore, she made All-Patriot League Third Team. As a junior, she was an All-Patriot League Second Team selection. As a senior, she was selected to the All-Patriot League First Team.
She also leaves the Terriers with her name etched all over the school’s record book. In program history, she ranks 15th all-time in scoring, seventh in assists, fifth in three-pointers and fourth in minutes played. She played and started in all 103 games over the course of her career at BU.
“I am extremely excited to have Katie join our Badger family,” said Marisa Moseley in the school’s press release announcing the news. “I’ve had the pleasure of coaching Katie for the last three years at Boston University where she led that program from the bottom of the conference to a championship contender. Her passion, work ethic and basketball knowledge are second to none. Katie will be a great addition to our backcourt and help shore up our point guard position.”
“My relationship with her [coach Moseley] grew each and every day and each and every year, not only on the court but off. I really just appreciate how much she really puts into the program and invests in us as women, not only as basketball players,” Katie said.
During her three seasons at BU, coach Moseley led the Terriers to a 45-29 record, including a 10-2 regular season record this year which was good enough to win the Patriot League North Division. Prior to becoming the head coach at BU, her alma mater, coach Moseley worked as an assistant for Geno Auriemma at UConn from 2009-2018, where she was part of five national title-winning teams.
While BU has had a lot of success the past few years, Wisconsin is making this coaching change because they have not. The Badgers finished last in the Big Ten this past year with a 2-18 record (5-19 overall) and they have not had a winning conference record since 2010-2011.
So how will Katie attempt to help the program?
“I’m going in with expectations to enjoy every single day, no matter what happens. I’ve talked to coach Moseley a little bit about the team and I know they need a point guard position a little bit more; so I think that works in my favor being a point guard for the last so many years,” she said. “Honestly anything I can do to help the team, whether that’s on or off [the court], I’m ready and excited to do.”
As Katie attempts to help her new program, it means she will be leaving behind her old program—a place that has meant so much to her.
“I’m going to miss my teammates a lot because they are first and foremost my friends before they are teammates and I have a great relationship with them all, but I am excited to see what they accomplish next year,” Katie said.
She also added that being in Madison, Wisconsin, will certainly be different for someone who has always stayed close to home.
“My family, my grandparents and my parents were able come to pretty much every game and my dad has been to every single game—home and away. Not being as close will definitely be an adjustment, but I know they’re going to make as many games as they can,” Katie said.
Away from the court, she will enroll in Wisconsin’s educational leadership and policy analysis graduate program, concentrating in intercollegiate athletic administration.
Despite all the upcoming changes in her life, Katie said she is looking forward to the challenges and making Madison, a place she has never visited, her home.
“I’ve only heard great things, which is really exciting. I know they have a beautiful campus and a great town and it’s a great college atmosphere which is going to be a little bit different than the city of Boston. But I’m ready for the change and so excited to go out there and experience that,” Katie said.