Nicole and Ebony Wells left their mark on Columbia County during their very successful prep basketball careers. Nicole was a standout for Harlem High School, earning All-Region and All-County honors in 2008-09. That season she helped guide the Lady Bulldogs to one of the finest seasons in school history. Harlem finished 24-4 and advanced to the state’s Sweet Sixteen, losing 58-57 in overtime to Bainbridge. Wells averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game.
That season, however, she was not the leading scorer in her own family. Her younger sister, 6-2 sophomore Ebony Wells, poured in 16 points and grabbed 8.5 rebounds per game. At the time Nicole Wells was a 6-0 forward who was a do-it-all type player. She was as happy to play defense, pass and rebound as she was to score. Nicole signed to play at Georgia Perimeter College and after two solid seasons with the junior college power she signed to play at Division I Wichita State.
While Nicole was busy leading Georgia Perimeter to a pair of deep runs in the JUCO National Tournament, Ebony was securing her own Division I scholarship. She left Harlem after her sophomore season, transferring to Grovetown, and despite missing her entire junior season with a knee injury, Ebony had college recruiters flocking to Grovetown in 2010-11.
That season she was dominant on both ends of the floor. She guided Grovetown to a 25-3 mark and earned county Player of the Year honors after averaging 19 points, 13 rebounds and 6.8 blocks per game. That gave her a two-year record of 49-7 between Harlem and Grovetown. She chose to play college ball at Florida State University.
The Wells sisters are not used to sitting on the bench, which is what they are dealing with this year. Nicole, a senior for Wichita State, has played in only six of the team’s 11 games (the team is currently 6-5). She has scored just two points and grabbed five rebounds all season.
The story is not much better for Ebony, a redshirt freshman for the Lady Noles. The 6-2 forward has played in seven of FSU’s 11 games. Florida State is currently 10-1 and ranked No. 23 in the nation. Ebony is playing 5.6 minutes per game and has scored six points and grabbed four rebounds this season.
In Ebony’s case, the future is bright. She has three years remaining after this season and is definitely in FSU’s future plans. Hopefully both sisters will get more playing time as the season goes on.
There is a bright side: While they are not getting the playing time they would like, both are getting a free, quality education at top-flight schools.