Hello all, and welcome to another edition of Husky History. Each week this column highlights the accomplishments of a former UConn athlete and their ability to perform at the professional level.
This week’s edition focuses on Nick Ahmed, UConn baseball’s former star shortstop who filled up the stat sheets during his tenure in Storrs.
Ahmed, born on March 15, 1990 in his hometown of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, was a star from the start of his career. Playing at East Longmeadow High School, Ahmed performed well on the mound and was named Republican Player of the Year as both a junior and senior.
Ahmed was honored as the Republican Pitcher of the Year as a senior, capping off an impressive high school career with a 21-3 record.
Graduating ranked No. 17 in his class of 233 people, Ahmed took his production on the field and in the classroom to Storrs in 2009.
His freshman year he saw immediate action, starting 48 out of 51 games. The Husky hit a .288, tallying 55 hits, 20 RBIs and 34 runs and holding the team’s longest hitting streak of the season at 16 games.
Following his stellar freshman season, Ahmed suited up for the Westhampton Aviators in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League where he totaled 26 hits, 14 RBIs and 28 runs.
Ahmed picked up right where he left off when he returned to campus for his sophomore season. Making four pitching appearances, he posted a 1-0 pitching record with a zero ERA in six innings of work.
His impact didn’t stop at the mound. The sophomore added an even .300 batting average with 80 hits, 43 RBIs, and 57 runs. Ahmed was the team leader in several aspects, including stolen bases with 34 on the season.
The shortstop continued playing baseball in the summer of 2010, appearing in 43 games for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League, one of the nation’s most respected collegiate summer baseball leagues.
The accolades came pouring in for Ahmed in his junior season. After posting a .326 batting average with 62 hits and a near-perfect .965 fielding percentage, the Huskies co-captain earned All-Big East Second Team selection and was a unanimous selection for the Clemson Regional All-Tournament Team.
Showcasing his ability to perform when the lights are the brightest, the junior held a nine-game hitting streak during the Big East Tournament that extended into the NCAA Regional at Clemson.
The Atlanta Braves determined three seasons from Ahmed was all that was needed to select him with the 85th overall pick of the 2011 MLB Draft. Ahmed was later traded by the Braves to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Jan. 24, 2013.
Arizona has been home for the shortstop for the last 10 seasons. In his first season, Ahmed had a limited role, appearing in 25 games posting 14 hits, 4 RBIs and 9 runs.
Ahmed made the most of the opportunity in the Diamondbacks organization each year. He turned in his most productive season in 2019. In 158 games, the shortstop posted marks of 141 hits, 82 RBIs and 79 runs, all career highs.
That season, and in 2018, Ahmed was recognized for his lockdown defense with the Gold Glove Award, an award given to each individual fielder of the National and American leagues.
Ahmed has consistently been a reliable fielder at the shortstop position for a decade now as he ranks No. 12 among active shortstops in putouts with 1,064.
The former Husky is currently a free agent having been released by the DBacks a few weeks ago, but up to this point in his career has totaled 678 hits, 322 RBIs, 344 runs and 41 stolen bases, respectively.
Outside of baseball, Ahmed has worked with his brother Mike to create 7 Pillar Health and Performance, a virtual education tool that teaches people how to lead healthier lives.
Similarly to his brother, Mike Ahmed played professional baseball as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations. He has since become a certified transformational nutrition coach and a certified digestive health specialist.
Ahmed and his brother are available for health and performance coaching consultations through their website.
Ahmed has made UConn nation proud in his professional career and continues to make an impact by helping to improve people’s overall health and well-being. He serves as a role model for all UConn students and supporters.