#36 Daniel Wickens

Nickname: Jersey Dan
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 180
Position: Combo
Years w/ESN: A 2012-2015
Major: Environmental Studies
Hometown: Westfield, NJ
Former Teams:

  • Westfield High School Ultimate Frisbee Team (2009-2011)

E-mail: daw111 AT pitt.edu

Dan Wickens is from New Jersey. This simple fact is something that both defines his attitude towards Ultimate and other people’s attitude towards him.

Jersey Dan started playing Ultimate during the fall of his sophomore year in high school when Adam Fischette and Michael Pohling (DEVYL alum) invited him to play in a pick up game. Wickens, who played baseball at his Westfield High, wasn’t sold right away.

“I had a good time and played well, but I wasn’t crazy about it yet,” Jersey remembers. “Soon enough, I realized I was having way more fun playing this silly game with my friends than I was playing baseball.”

After his junior year, Jersey came to his senses, quit baseball and helped Westfield on their way to beating cross-state rival West-Windsor North for the first time in program history. During his senior year, he began looking into attending Pitt without even knowing about the strong Ultimate program that existed there.

“I had no intention of playing Ultimate in college and no idea that College Nationals even existed,” Wickens said. “Once I made the A team, I realized I had made the best decision of my life.”

Like all the players that have come through the program, Jersey Dan quickly found players to look up to. Of all the men who guided him, he’ll tell you that Michael Van Ness was hands down his biggest mentor.

“He was the first person to approach me at pick-up and helped me through the entire tryout process,” Wickens remembered. “Mick was a great motivator, and pushed me to become a better player. Even now that he’s graduated, he still finds time to talk to me, watch game footage and give me feedback on how I’m playing. Not only is he my biggest mentor at Pitt, he’s a great friend and brother.”

Q: What does the state of New Jersey mean to you?
A: Nick always talks about having “grit.” New Jersey is the definition of grit. We’re tough, we’re ambitious, and we don’t care if you don’t like us, because we don’t like you either. Some people say NJ is the armpit of the USA, but that’s only because we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty and give up blood, sweat and tears for what we want.