Family and friends rally behind Merced High graduate competing in the Olympics

Japan 2020

ATWATER, California. (KSEE) – Family and friends of a USA softball Olympian and Merced High School graduate held a watch party in Atwater as Team USA took on Team Italy on Tuesday.

The first thing that you see when you walk into the Nickles’ home is memorabilia of Madilyn “Bubba” Nickles.

While her family couldn’t be with her to cheer her on in person due to COVID-19 protocols, it was important for them to get together to root for team USA.

“I went oh my gosh she is on the Olympic team. Can you believe it? That is our daughter on the Olympic team, that is just crazy,” said Natalie Nickles, Bubba’s mother.

Her closest family, friends, and even her high school coach, all gathered around the television to show support as Bubba and the rest of Team USA took on Italy.

“I have people texting me there saying, ‘Hey are you watching the game are you watching the game? Yeah, we are watching the game and we are hoping she gets in,” said Bart Mcafee, Bubba’s high school coach.

The Merced High School alum is no stranger to the spotlight.

She was the 2015-2016 National Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, and in 2019, she won a national championship with UCLA.

Now with the biggest spotlight in the world shining down, her parents are reminding her to do what she does best.

“Just remember you love this game so much and just go out there and have fun,” said Natalie.

Bubba and Team USA defeated Team Italy 2-0.

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