The summer before your season is usually a big one for high school student athletes looking to catch the eyes of college coaches, but in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, opportunities for players to be seen is limited.
Beaver Dam High School senior Nate Abel is one of those student-athletes on the radar of college basketball coaches across the country and he’s doing the best he can to get noticed. Abel tells DailyDodge.com that he knows this has been an unusual summer but so far it’s been good for him and he won’t let things he can’t control bother him. He says that he used the quarantine time to work on his game individually and lift weights in order to stay in the best shape he could for when the time came to get back on the floor and compete.
Once health regulations were relaxed, Abel was able to suit up for the Wisconsin Crusaders, an AAU team based out of the Fox Valley. They have played five straight weekends and have an event coming up in Minneapolis this weekend. Abel has had a pretty nice summer on the AAU circuit averaging about 17 points, five assists and four rebounds per game. He’s also more than held his own on the defensive end matching up with some of the better point guards in the country. His team has been having success, going deep into tournaments and also winning an event out in South Dakota.
One of the challenges this summer is that the NCAA rules have prohibited coaches from traveling to watch players in person, so they must rely on game film or videostreams provided to them. With limited travel by coaches because of COVID-19, it means that players have to sometimes go the extra mile to get noticed by potential schools. Abel was ahead of the game in that department as he began to reach out to college coaches at the D1 and D2 levels on his own in June of 2019 to try and gauge where he was at on their radar.
After getting feedback from coaches, he has attended camps at NCAA Division One schools such as Air Force, Brown, Princeton and Bryant. Abel says the he has had plenty of contact with schools at both the NCAA Division One and Division Two levels. Some of the Division One schools that have shown interest include; St. Thomas, Denver, Eastern Illinois, Dartmouth, Army and South Dakota State. At the D2 level he says he’s had the most contact with Sioux Falls, Missouri-St. Louis, Hillsdale, Crookston, Michigan Tech and Bemidji State.
Abel doesn’t have an official D1 offer yet but he says he’s in no hurry to commit as he plans to take some more campus tours this fall. No matter where he ends up, he says it’s important of find a place that is the right fit both athletically and academically. He says he’s taking his time because he wants to make sure he makes the right choice.
Abel says that he still isn’t quite sure what he wants to do academically in college. Some fields of study that interest him include business, physically therapy, and psychology. He says he will use elective classes during his senior year at Beaver Dam High School to help figure out what he wants to study in college, which will also have a role in choosing the right place to attend.
Before going off to a college or university, Abel still has his senior season to play BDHS. He led the Badger North in scoring last year as a junior at just over 21 points per game and was a 1st team all-league selection. A young Beaver Dam squad finished 11-13 overall and in 6th place in the Badger North last season. Beaver Dam scored a lot of points last season, but Abel says for his team to contend for a league title they will need to pick it up on the defensive end.
Click the link to hear a complete interview with Nate Abel.
Click link below to watch a highlight of Abel’s play via @PrepHoops_WI
— Prep Hoops Wisconsin (@PrepHoops_WI) July 26, 2020
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Photo Credit: @PrepHoops_WI twitter