Nate West (180-PG-1998, college: LeTourneau) is a 24 year old 180cm point guard from Houston, Texas playing his second professional season and first with Union Neuchatel Basket (Switzerland-SBL). Last season as a rookie he played with USK Praha (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 43 games averaging 16.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 77.4%. He played at LeTourneau University (NCAA 3) from 2016-2020 playing a total of 112 games and. He recently played a pre season game in Germany and had a chat with germanhoops.com about basketball.
Thanks Nate for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?
I am currently in Neuchatel Switzerland. I’d say basketball life is treating me well. I have the opportunity to play for Union Neuchatel this season.
Your playing your second professional season and first with Union Neuchatel Basket (Switzerland-SBL). After having a very solid rookie season in the Czech Republic you moved to the SBL which is a bit surprising when you could of played in higher leagues. Why did you chose this step?
One of my high school coaches advised me to play where I was most wanted when I was deciding where I would play in college. I followed his advice in moving to Union Neuchatel.
How blessed are you to be able to play the game you love for a living? Very few D-3 guys go overseas. Of course it helped you that you had incredible stats in your last 2 seasons. I’m very sure you don’t take any of this experience for granted?
It is definitely a blessing to be playing especially given all the competition for each spot on a team. There are many great athletes just in my home state of Texas alone. I take this opportunity very seriously because it has always been my goal to play at a professional level.
You had a very good rookie season and proved you can play with the best. How much of a role has height played in your basketball life in terms of how people see your game? Have you always had a chip on your shoulder?
My height has always been the focus of coaches and teams over the years given taller players are expected to succeed. My teammates have mostly been taller than me since I first began playing and even more so in high school and at the college level. I think people are at times surprised by what I can do at my size. I’m not sure I have a chip on my shoulder. I have to believe in myself and my ability to make shots and to secure wins in order to succeed in this game. Mostly I work hard at my game and set goals for myself.
Let’s talk a bout your game. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
You fill the stats sheet like a Russell Westbrook. What part of your game would you say is your biggest strength?
I think my biggest strength is my ability to see what is happening on the court and using that to help my teammates find better shots.
In school you were a very consistent and good shooter but haven’t eclipsed the 40% mark. Where do you see yourself as a shooter now and what kind of shooter do you want to become?
It is always my goal to continue to improve my shooting ability given it is a big part of what coaches notice about my game and what has brought me this far. I want to be a shooter that people can’t ignore on the court.
Your also an aggressive defender. What kind of defender are you now and what kind of defender do you want to become down the road?
I want to become a defender that can’t be scored on easily, that the other team does not want to run their offense near me
On what areas of your game are you working on most so you can continue to climb the basketball ladder?
I work to become a better overall player and make sure I put up many practice shots so that my shooting percentage stays consistent.
You didn’t begin your pro career until 2021 after finishing school in 2020. How tough was it sitting out that one year? Did Covid and your NCAA 3 school play a role in you not finding the suitable team?
I was very excited to play at the professional level and then Covid hit. It was tough waiting a year to play. Coach Miller at Letourneau University helped put me in the best position to find a team. The teams that showed interest in me that year ended up not running while they made adjustments for the pandemic. I continued to work out and play that year until an opportunity to play in Ireland opened up but then secured a spot playing for USK Praha.
You played your rookie season for USK Praha (Czech Republic-NBL) averaging 16.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 77.4%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie overseas where you knew that you were far away from home?
The wake up call I had was in practice when I first got to Europe. The coaching style was different than coaches at home. Also, the way the game is played is a lot different than how we play in the US. The adjustment period was the wake up call.
What memories will you always have form the Opava playoff series? Do you feel like you would have won had you had Kyle Mangas?
The Opava series had a lot of fans at the games and I will never forget that. I also will not forget going out there and fighting with my team. We didn’t have our whole team due to injury so just going out there and fighting with them will never be forgotten. Kyle and I were teammates and roommates. We had a certain chemistry on the court and he is very talented. Having him would have definitely made that series much closer.
You played at LeTourneau University (NCAA3) from 2016-2020 playing 112 games and breaking countless school and ASC records.How special was it winning the 2020 ASC title?
Winning the ASC title was important to me. I wanted to win that for myself, my team and for Coach Miller. It was even more special to win my least year playing for Letourneau.
You had Belham’s number scoring a school and ASC record 67 points and in another game had a triple double. Were you more than just in the zone on this night?
On the day I scored 67 points it was Senior day so it was my final home game at Letourneau. I had many family members and friends there for that day and wanted my last game at the school to be special. I was playing on what had been my home court and the shots were going in.
You made an incredible transformation in your 4 years improving your stats each year. How would you describe your development over that period?
I had a great coach who made sure I had the opportunity to grow as a player. I spent many hours in the gym aside from our team practices. I played a lot of minutes and my coach trusted me to play my game
How did head coach Dan Miller groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
Coach Miller prepared me by giving me the opportunity to play at nationals twice in my time at Letourneau. Each one of these opportunities helps get you ready for the next level. He believed in me and my ability to play professionally and that made me believe even more in myself.
Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Justin Moore?
Who is the best player that you ever battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Derrick Alston, Kyle Mangas, Tomas Kyzlink, Justin Moore, Dalan Ancrum
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry , Lebron James, Michael Jordan
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
I have not seen the sequel.
Thanks Nate for the chat.