Rindock ends MC career
Muhlenberg College senior basketball player Nick Rindock stepped onto the West Allentown campus as a winner. He won two District 11 championships in his final two seasons at Parkland High School, so the confidence and winning attitude was with him as he took his talents to the college level.
In his first two seasons as a Mule, Rindock made an immediate impact. He started in 39 of the team’s 50 games, and led the Mules in scoring (12.3 ppg), rebounding (6.5 rpg), three-point percentage (.426) and free-throw percentage (.805) his sophomore year. He was the only player in the Centennial Conference to achieve that feat.
But then, during his junior year, Rindock suffered a season-ending injury midway through the year. It was disheartening for the 2014 Parkland High School graduate. He hadn’t faced adversity like that in his playing career.
“It was definitely tough,” said Rindock. “I was hard on myself, because I hated that I couldn’t be out there with my team and playing. I was frustrated with how things went, but I kept moving forward and wanted to keep playing. I worked out hard in the spring and summer. You can only do so much with the team, so a lot is on my own. I got more in shape. I lost 15 pounds. I knew things like that happen sometimes, and I just had to do what I could to get healthy and get back to the court.”
Rindock returned strong.
In the 2017-18 season, his senior year, Rindock led the team in scoring with the highest average of his career (13.8) and started all 25 games. He also accomplished a milestone that every basketball player wants to achieve, scoring 1,000 career points. He did it on his home court against a top-10 ranked team on January 31 when he had a career-high 33 point night.
“I always wanted to score my 1,000th point,” Rindock said. “I didn’t do it at Parkland, but it was my goal at Muhlenberg. I was nervous coming into the year from my injury last year, but I didn’t think about it and just played, and things took care of themselves. The fact that it happened during the Swarthmore game, at home, when they were ranked No. 7, was just incredible. We ended up winning the game too, and we hadn’t beaten them in four years.”
As a team, Muhlenberg (11-14 overall, 9-9 Centennial) missed out on the postseason, but with a new head coach and a new system in play this year, Rindock and his classmates know they are leaving the program in the right direction.
“We took strides as a program moving forward with a new coach that came in this year,” said Rindock. “But a lot of credit goes to coach [Kevin] Hopkins for bringing in his style of up-and-down and fast-pace play. It gives us freedom, and it’s free-flowing. I was proud to be a part of this new look and help the program move into the future.”
Earlier in February, Rindock was named to the Lehigh Valley Small College Basketball Team of the Year, as voted on by coaches and media members that cover Kutztown, East Stroudsburg, Muhlenberg, Moravian and DeSales.
A first-year head coach, Hopkins found out rather quickly how much of a talent he had on his team.
“Nick’s been probably the most important guy on our roster the entire year,” said Hopkins at the event. “He’s done a little bit of everything, from rebounding to assists to scoring points for us. He was a guy I was a little bit worried about when I first took this job.
“Nick came into my office and we were talking about some of his goals, and I was on him a little bit that he wasn’t in the gym enough, and as a senior leader he had to be in the gym and set an example for the younger guys. Sure enough, he’s put in the time in the gym, and he’s been doing the little things behind the scenes that coaches may not always notice. He’s been unbelievable for us all year and I feel very fortunate to be able to coach him.”
The Muhlenberg season ended on Feb. 17, but Rindock stayed around the game, going to watch his younger brother Logan, a junior on the Parkland boys basketball team. The two are close and are always talking or playing the game of basketball with each other. Logan may next soon be on the college floor a little more than a year from now.
“Logan and I are close, but I just wasn’t able to get to as many games as I would have hoped to,” said Rindock. “I’ve been very impressed with his developments, and he has a lot more ahead of him. It’s just the beginning of his recruitment, but it will pick up. He’s seen a lot of it with me going through it, but I tell him not to overthink anything.”
Rindock plans to graduate in the spring with a degree in finance. Last summer, he interned at Raymond James Financial, and still works a few hours during the week when he can outside of his busy schedule with class and basketball.
Rindock was one of two Parkland graduates to suit up for the Mules the past four years. His former Trojan teammate, Alex Mitton played in 21 games this season and averaged 2.9 points per game. Mitton, who double-majors in accounting and finance and has made the Dean’s List during his college career, got in 43 over his career.