Fast break

May 16, 2021

Leadership

By Glenn McDonald

Amber Nichols, ’14, moves quickly.

As a four-year player on the Spider women’s basketball team, Nichols, ’14, was known as a speedy guard off the bench. Since graduation, she’s kept up a remarkably fast pace in the professional sports world.

In January of 2021, Nichols was promoted to general manager of the Capital City Go-Go, the Washington Wizards’ NBA G League affiliate, becoming the second female general manager in league history.

The G League is the official minor league organization for professional men’s basketball, previously known as the NBA Developmental League. As Go-Go general manager, Nichols is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the team at the relatively young age of 28.

Nichols started with an entry-level ticket sales job with the Sacramento Kings in 2015, just to get a foot in the NBA door. From there she moved through a series of internships and positions around the league. She was promoted to director of basketball operations for the Go-Go in 2019 and appointed GM this year.

If that seems like an awfully quick rise to the top, that’s because it really, really is.

“It is definitely quicker than what I had imagined or anticipated, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Nichols said. “And it’s something I don’t take lightly, for sure.”

Nichols’ first season as GM was a wild one, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the rest of the league, she spent 53 days in the NBA’s famous “bubble” in Orlando, Florida.

“Going through that experience — mentally, physically, and emotionally — with that group of people actually made it special,” Nichols said. “It was a time to be, like, fully immersed in basketball.”