Spokane Hoops Association’s very own professional athlete is heading to the big leagues once again

Our very own professional athlete is heading overseas


Courtesy of the Spokesman Review

For years now we’ve had the pleasure of coming into the Spokane Hoops Association office and seeing the radiant smile of Shaniqua Nilles, our Assistant Program Coordinator. Starting with our organization as an intern, Shaniqua morphed into a role as a full-time staff member while also balancing being a mom, helping a local bar and restaurant thrive and carving out a professional basketball career. She’s played professionally in both Germany and Denmark, and now she’s taking her skills to an entirely new continent.

Shaniqua will be playing for the Chelsea Gulls located in Victoria, Australia. Native to Spokane, Shaniqua grew up playing in our AAU program before playing on the Gonzaga Women’s Basketball team and eventually overseas in European professional leagues. This dedication and experience allowed her to build an impressive resumé that attracted the Chelsea Gulls into signing her as their import player for the 2019 season. Shaniqua will be playing in their Big V Division One Women’s team, their highest division.



Shaniqua has been a key member of our lineup since 2015. Not only has she been responsible for running our social media, blogs and e-newsletters, but she’s coached our interns, given us some serious style inspiration and built up all of our basketball vocabularies. Shaniqua has undoubtedly created a lasting impact on our organization, and we wish her the best and look forward to supporting her in another year of her professional career!

 “We’re going to miss Shaniqua’s sense of style, knowledge of basketball and kindness in our office,” said Keli Riley, Office Administrator.

“We’ll miss Shaniqua, but we also wish her the very best successes in basketball and in life,” Giff Marleau, Program Manager.

“We will miss Shaniqua’s energy, passion and hard work. She will be difficult to replace, but we wish her the best as she continues her professional basketball career,” Chad Smith, Operations Manager.

“Shaq’s been an awesome person to work with while she’s been here, and I’m expecting to hear great things about her time in Australia,” Rob Davis, Sites and Facilities Manager

“Shaniqua has been instrumental in my transition into the Spokane Hoops family. She and I had classes together at Gonzaga and years later we found ourselves pushing each other to be better versions of ourselves for the love of Hoopfest. I am so grateful for her patience, humor and humble talent she shared with all of us. I hope to make her proud this upcoming tournament and I promise to continue working on my shooting form until she returns. Go get ‘em sister!” Morgan Marum, Director of Marketing and Business Development.

“Shaniqua is the definition of a great teammate! Talented, hardworking and humble she has shared her heart and spirit with our organization, and we are grateful. She continues to chase her love of the game across the globe, to new heights and great adventures. We are all proud of her and we will all miss her, but don’t worry she will always have a place on this Hoops team!” Matt Santangelo, Executive Director. 

Congratulations Shaniqua, we’ll be rooting for you from over 8,000 miles away!