Roselle Catholic standout senior Worthey will play her next basketball game in college

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROSELLE CATHOLIC – Standout senior girls basketball player Nina Worthey signs to play in college at North Carolina A & T.

Nina Worthey is a senior student-athlete at Roselle Catholic High School, but the next time Worthey suits up for a basketball game, she’ll be wearing a college uniform.
The 6-foot-1 Worthey, who started 24 games for Roselle Catholic last winter, tore the anterior cruciate ligament of her right knee during the fall and is sidelined for the 2019-20 season.
But Worthey expects her skills to be sharp and her knee to be as good as new when she enrolls at North Carolina A&T this summer.
Worthey signed a National Letter of Intent in the RC Library on Nov. 13 to continue her athletic and academic career in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Aggies went 8-4 in the non-conference portion of their schedule, including victories at Clemson and Virginia Commonwealth University.
“What made me pick NC A&T is the energy I felt from the coaches and the atmosphere I felt when I got on campus for my unofficial visit,” said Worthey, who plans to major in psychology and minor in criminal justice. “The coaching staff showed a lot of interest in my grades,
which is very important to me because education matters the most to me.
“When I went on the unofficial visit, walking around the campus almost felt like I belonged there, it felt like home,” she continued. “I knew that I would be comfortable with going to school so far away from home because it was going to feel like another home when I got
Worthey picked North Carolina A&T over a field of finalists that included Norfolk State, Loyola, Stony Brook and the University of Albany, where RC Class of 2019 graduate Taniya Hanner is a freshman member of the basketball team.
“What made NC A&T different was knowing that if there was ever a reason why I couldn’t play basketball anymore or if there was any kind of coaching changes, I would still want to be a student there all the way through without wanting to transfer,” Worthey said.
“North Carolina A&T should be very excited about Nina,” said Roselle Catholic assistant coach Allison Skrec, the program’s all-time leading scorer. “Nina is an extremely hard worker with tremendous potential. Above all else, as good a player as Nina is, she’s an even better person.”
Expected to be one of the team’s top offensive threats this season, Worthey’s contributions during games come at the scorer’s table, where she keeps the RC scorebook. As a junior last season, the smooth-shooting lefty averaged 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots per game for the Lions in 2019, 15-10.
Worthey, a North Plainfield resident, came off the bench as a sophomore and averaged six points and three rebounds per game as a super sixth man during a championship season for the Lions. In 2017-18, Worthey helped Roselle Catholic post a 22-5 record, which included a Union County Tournament championship, the sixth in program history and first since 2014. The Lions also won the annual RC Holiday Tournament.
An honor roll student at Roselle Catholic, Worthey entered her senior season with 569 career points.
“Nina Worthey did all she could to make the RC girls basketball program better,” said RC assistant coach Charlie Wischusen, who’s in his 13th season on the Lions’ bench. “She worked hard every day and what I really appreciated about her was that she always listened and always put team first. This will certainly pay dividends at the next level because she definitely has the basketball skills to be successful. She can play the three, four or five positions seamlessly.
“It breaks my heart that she got hurt and is unable to play her senior year. I know for sure that Nina will still be a great teammate supporting the others on our team.”
In addition to keeping score at games, Worthey attends as many practices as her schedule allows. She’s a co-captain — along with senior Janelle McNeill — and often speaks to her teammates in the Lions’ post-game locker room setting.
“Seeing Nina at practices was uplifting because she not only tried to become a better player, she tried to make those around her better as well,” Wischusen said.
Without Worthey in the lineup, a very inexperienced and young Roselle Catholic team is off to a 1-3 start as it approaches the start of its slate against strong Watchung Division competition.
“I’m making sure I’m still around the team for practices and games as much as I can, with having to go to physical therapy,” Worthey said. “I try to give them advice and different tips and tricks I used when I was playing since at the moment I can’t use them.
“The little things, like setting screens and playing good defense, matter just as much as scoring does,” she continued. “Because we’re such a young team this year, I want to pass on as much knowledge that I can so they can become better prepared for future things to come for them.”