Tag Archives: Nate Britt

Nate The Great

Nate Britt Adidas Photo

6’1″ rising junior Nate Britt, who was profiled earlier in the year, had a productive AAU and camp season. From an individual standpoint, the zenith was his performance at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, where he finished second in camp scoring and was named one of five Workout Warriors. With his D.C. Assault brethren, the baby-faced leader competed in tournaments from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas, where D.C. Assault and Duke alumnus Nolan Smith of the Portland Trail Blazers helped coach DCA, with a high-point of reaching the finals of the King James Shooting Stars Classic in Akron, Ohio.

This weekend, the Gonzaga guard helped his USA 2013 Red team to a second place finish at the Adidas Nations in Compton, California. Yesterday, the reigning D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year was invited to participate in the Elite 24 in Venice Beach, California at the end of the month. Nate Britt spoke with Blue Devil Nation about various topics, including Nolan Smith, Twitter, and how far along he is in his recruitment.

Starting back a bit with the camps, specifically the NBA 100 one, what was that experience like, first of all?
Oh, it was great experience because they had, like, all the best of the best players. It was an awesome feeling just going against those guys. All of those guys are very talented and they keep you on your toes. It was just a great experience.

Then, transitioning back to D.C. Assault in July, what was that like for you?
Fun. We’ve played together for years and, you know, get to play in big-time tournaments in front of the college coaches. We have a really good time playing together.

[private]
In terms of your recruitment, what’s been going on lately?
The hardest three on me are Villanova, Virginia, and Georgetown. Those three have offered and Arizona. Did I say Arizona?
Yeah.
Those and I’ve gotten interest from Duke, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, UCLA, UConn, Syracuse..those are the only ones I can think of right now. My head’s kinda spinning (laughs).

Are there one or two schools that you grew up rooting for?
Georgetown. That’s the hometown school. I always rooted for Georgetown.

In terms of the schools that were expressing interest like North Carolina or Duke, what have they said to you?
I feel like I’ve spoken to so many programs and coaches that I’m not exactly sure what the message is, but my phone’s been blowing up really since whatever that date was, like, the fifteenth or whatever. I know that I’ve spoken with schools like North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Duke. I’ve been in touch with all of them and I like speaking with them and learning what they have to say.

Are schools still able to get into your recruitment?
Oh, yes, but I’m trying to slow it down.

Will you be cutting it, your list, down soon or do you have any plans in that direction?
Oh, yes, I’m going to try to sit down and cut it down to a more manageable number or whatever after all of this ends..probably some time in late August, you know.

Do you plan, at this point, on taking official visits in your senior year or do you plan on deciding next year?
I’m going to try to decide next year.
Just for clarification, you mean before your senior year?
Yes, before my senior year.

Nate Britt BDN/Andrew Slater Photo

Going back for a second to that NBA 100 camp, how do you account for your success at that event? You had that thirty point outburst that, sort of, put some people on notice. Also, how would you assess the state of your game right now? In the past, you mentioned that you wanted to work on your outside shot and adding some strength.
Yeah, I’ve improved my three-point shot to where I feel comfortable just pulling up and shooting it when it’s in rhythm. I feel like I’m mentally comfortable with making a few a game.

And what about the strength issue? You mentioned that you wanted to be able to play through contact.
Yeah, well, that’s something that I still need to work on and improve, but, with all of these games, you don’t really get a chance. I’m hoping that I can spend August and September just getting stronger and hitting the weights.

Back to that thirty point game and your overall performance, what are your thoughts on why and how you played?
Yeah, I think it was just getting mentally in a place where I could perform. My coach there just kept telling me to score or take it to the rack and I was just feeling it. For whatever reason, it just clicked there.

When you were younger, outside of Georgetown, were there any other programs that you rooted for?
I rooted for Villanova, for a little bit, when I was younger. When they had Allen Ray and Randy Foye and those guys, I was really interested in them and rooting for them.

Is there any sentiment about trying to stay closer to home or you really don’t care?
Well, I would like to stay closer to home because I know that my parents would like to see me play, but whatever is the best situation for me.

Do you have any visits planned?
No, not as of right now, but I’m pretty sure that some will come up.

Who’s the best player that you’ve faced or guarded this summer?
Um, I’d probably have to say Yogi…Yogi Ferrell. I faced him at both NBA Top 100 and also Adidas Nations.

In terms of a timeline in your recruitment, if this were a baseball game, what inning would you say that we’re in?
Probably the seventh..the seventh inning.

I’ve noticed on your Twitter account that you’ve talked a lot in the past about your lack of sleep or difficulty with sleep.
Oh, yeah, (laughs) it’s hard with all of the games I’ve been playing and the travel and time zones. You’ve got workouts and early morning workouts. It’s just kind of hard on the body or, at least, mine.
6:30 workouts in the morning.
(laughs) Yeah, you know, 6:30 in the morning workouts. It’s killing me. (laughs)

How about defensively? How would you assess your defense at this point? I think you’ve stepped up your defense from the past.
Yeah, I’ve been feeling better about my defense lately. I think I’ve given better and really gotten in there. I’ve tried to focus on it a bit so that, if my offense goes in a particular game, at least I’ve got my defense. It’s something that I can rely on.

Before you were talking about playing in front of the coaches, how do you think they have an effect on your play?
Oh, at first, I had butterflies, but I’ve tried to just have fun with it. I try to just get used to it. You know that your playing in front of the greatest coaches and that kind of inspires you. You know that you have to perform and then it’s also great to have that opportunity and also playing in front of fans is fun too.

Who are some of your Assault teammates that have also stepped up their games this year?
I think Kris (Jenkins) has. He’s battled back from injury and been able to help us after sitting out earlier in the year.
And you couldn’t be tighter with him (Jenkins lives with the Britts) so you know the pain that he must’ve been in to sit out?
Yeah, absolutely, we’re very close and he felt terribly about missing so many games with that badly sprained ankle. He was worried about it too. I feel like we really jelled well together as a team.

I just want to clarify an earlier answer. You mentioned about how those three schools stood out. Were you implying that it was too late, in essence, for other schools to get involved or just that those three happened to stand out right now?
Oh, no, no. Yeah, it’s not too late. It’s just that those three schools happened to be recruiting a little harder than the others at this point.

Has there been any really new school to step in?
Well, Maryland offered and North Carolina stepped up their interest.

Well, that must’ve made you feel good.
Oh, yeah, it did.

What was it like, by the way, when Nolan Smith joined the Assault coaching staff?
(laughs) Oh, yeah, that was great because you know that’s a guy that accomplished so much and he’s got a really good basketball mind. He doesn’t get crazy out there. He just helps you focus.

Did he help at all with the strategy?
Oh, yeah, he helped. He pointed out things and, you know, who for us to make switches on. It was great to have him out there with us, you know. I think we all appreciated it and certainly I did. It was great.

He mentioned that he was going to say something to the team.
Oh, yeah, he talked to all of us. He mentioned how it wasn’t long ago that he was in our seats. He talked about hard he worked and has to work to continue to make it. He encouraged all of us to get out there and work. It was inspirational.

Nate Britt BDN/Andrew Slater Photo

It’s amazing that he was in your spot or grade just five years ago.
Yeah, it is . It just goes so fast. It helps keep him in touch. He just kept saying how hard he worked and to stay focused and stuff like that. He always, like, had his eye on the prize and encouraged us to do that to.

Before you were talking about how you guys play so many games, do you feel that momentum carries over from one tournament to the next.
Yeah, I think it does, when we play events really close to one another. When you win or lose a lot in one tournament, I do think it carries over…it can help bring confidence to a team or sometimes drag it down.

Is there any player nationally that you wanted to get a chance to play or take on this summer and you didn’t get a chance to at one of the various events?
That’s tough. Not really…I think I’ve played just about everybody at this point. (laughs).

In terms of position, is anyone recruiting you as a combo guard at this point or is everybody now looking at you as a straight one?
Really, just a one now. Just a straight one.

How are you trying to use Twitter? Growing your audience. Is it a way to get your voice out there?
Oh, yeah, I’m just trying to get people to know me a little bit and, like you said, grow my audience or voice.

Lastly, you’ve traveled all around through basketball. What’s been your favorite tournament that you’ve played in so far?
I would probably have to say Vegas. It’s either Vegas or Indiana. Those are my two favorites because they just feel bigger and there’s more excitement in the air for whatever reason. Kids are pumped up to play in front of the coaches, I guess. The games feel more important.

Thanks again, Nate. Good luck to you.
Yeah, yeah, sure. You’re welcome. [/private]

Adidas Invitational Day One – Duke Coaches on the Trail

The Duke coaches were checking out prospects during the first day of the Adidas invitational and BDN Premium was right there as well.

Every college basketball coach and staff in America is currently checking out the nations top prospects at various shoe camps.  BDN’s Andrew Slater was on the scene at the Adidas Invitational yesterday where he followed the Duke prospects you want to hear of.  Today, he’ll head to the LeBron James Skills Academy where his coverage continues.

During the first day of camp, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Steve Wojciechowski and Jeff Capel took in the action.  Krzyzewski watched Perry Ellis and Shabazz Muhammad play twice and he also checked out Nate Britt and some other names.

The day started when the trio of coaches were front row, center for the Kansas Pray and Play Players/Pump and Run vs New England Elite match up where their focus was on Perry Ellis but his team lost.  They then took in Brannen Greenes’ Atlanta 16 team that absolutely crushed Indiana Elite 63-41 while he dropped 20 points.  When asked  if he noticed the three Duke coaches watching him, he acknowledged it.

The staff also checked out the New England Playazz who of course have Kaleb Tarczewski.  A bevy of coaches were in attendance for this game as well, but it was NEP point guard Makai Mason (’14) who said he had received interest from Duke that caught their eye as well.

The entire Duke staff sat with Tommy Amaker (Harvard) and Johnny  Dawkins (Stanford) for the Dream Vision vs. Indiana Elite game.  There focus was Shabazz Muhammad and he tossed in 39 points in a dominating performance.  Other coaches watching were UNC coached McGrath and head man Roy Williams as well as Howland, Romar, Self, Calipari, Carmody, Gottfried, Stallings, Crean, Haith, Sendek, Thompson and Floyd.  The staff caught Muhammads’ night game too, where he finished with 18 as his team squandered a chance at a second victory in the last minute of play.

The staff also watched D.C. Assault and Nate Britt with Curtis Malone, Nolan’s stepdad,  seated right behind the DCA bench.  After being saddled by early foul trouble, Britt dropped in a layup to cut it to 68-67 EG –37 seconds remaining, the game went to overtime where DCA pulled out the win on a three point shot at the buzzer.  Britt finished with 18.

Meanwhile, on another court, Perry Ellis tossed in 32 points in a stellar performance and Coach K had switched over to see him from Britts’ game and had to be pleased with what he saw.

For more details including prospect comments and vital tidbits of information including prospect analysis, join Blue Devil Nation Premium for full site access.  BDN Premium is the “only” Duke site that covers all the major recruiting events in person.  If you think the above information is cool, think about what awaits you as a member.  Once a member, go to our subscribers message board where Andre Slater is streaming information as it happens from the Adidas Invitational and the LeBron James Skills Academy.  See for yourself the difference in quality, and consistent coverage of “true” Duke targets as our top notch staff never rests in an effort to bring you closer to the action than imaginable.  I personally invite you to join BDN Premium, our extended subscription service and compare our coverage to anyone, anywhere on planet earth.

Britt

Relationships could give Duke inside track with Nate Britt

One of the players who garnered a lot of attention this past weekend was 2013′s Nate Britt.  By the end of the NBAPA Top 100 Camp, it was clear that he was one of the best performers there despite being a rising junior in high school.   Britt, who plays for Gonzaga High in Washington D.C., had a camp high 30 points in one game.  We spoke to Britt about the recruiting process and Duke fans will delight in the fact that he is already close to others that have been in the program.  Be sure to check back later as well, for an additional video interview clip with Britt and join BDN Premium today for full site access.

Can you give me the list of schools that are recruiting you?

There is no real list but those who are recruiting me?  Man, there are so many.  Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, Georgetown, Villanova, Arizona, West Virginia, UCLA, Pitt, Seton Hall.  Most recently, Florida, Georgia Tech said they’ll look at in the July period.

So, a lot of teams are coming in.   You knocked down some 3′s in that last game, had a nice stroke … how do you feel like you’ve played here thus far?[private] (questions asked after second game)

I feel like I’m improving but I’m trying to feel my teammates out and hopefully in this next game, we can come together and get a win.

It’s kind of tough in this atmosphere to get into the groove with chemistry and such …

Right, right, it is.  Some the people you might have played with but with most, you haven’t for guys here are from all over the country.

So, you have to get over those blow assist here and there?

(Smiles) Right, right.

I’m from ACC Country and Duke is on your list.  Coaches were able to start making calls the other night.  Did they contact you?

Yes, yes, they did.  I talked to Coach Wojo the other night and he messaged me.  I have a pretty good relationship with him, so yes, he did talk to me.

Now, you came through a system very familiar with Duke, D.C. Assault and you know Nolan and others.  Can you speak to that?

Yeah, they’re my boys.  I know Kyrie as well too and we talk.  I would say that kind of gives them an advantage because those are like my brothers.  When I took my unofficial there, I felt real comfortable with them and they took care of me, so, that’s how that is.

What’s your goal for the rest of the weekend?

I just want to win.  That’s what me and my teammates are all about.  We just want to win. [/private]

Duke Prospects Recap from NBA Top 100 Camp

You can sit in the middle of a bunch of well seasoned analyst and hear several different takes on prospects at major events.  Or, you can sit alone and form your opinion.  I do a lot of both and in the process I see prospects play in upwards of 20 times in a single AAU season.  One thing to keep in mind is that one tournament or camp does not make or break  a player.  Sometimes kids are sick or maybe a family member is having health issues.  Some fly in the same day of the event after attending another one and pick up play right away.  We try and find out the details and that allows a fair take on prospects.  I personally, like to see a kid play five times or more before offering an opinion on his overall game.  In short, talent evaluation is an inexact science and what I see and what Coach K or the staff might see can differ greatly.  I like to see how a kid plays when he is tired.  I like to see how they play from ahead and behind in a game.  I like to see how they step up when the game is on the line and how they face adversity.  I even like to watch their body language and especially what they do off ball.  That said, here is my take on ten prospects and one Duke verbal from this weekends NBAPA Top 100 Camp.

Nerlens Noel (2013) – This kid is a defensive stalwart in the post.  He has good footwork and an impressive and quick leaping ability.  When open he can rattle the rim with the dunk, but he needs polish on his offensive moves and he doesn’t seem to have that go to move in his repertoire as of yet.  With a year of maturity, he may well push for the top rated player in his class and that says a lot when you know Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are his comp.  Clearly the third best player in 2013 in my eyes.  He dominated Tony Parker for the second and third time on the defensive end this past weekend, although Parker did adjust some in his third meeting.

Tony Parker (2012) -Tony is adjusting to the expectations bestowed upon him analyst.  That makes players come hard at him trying to make a name for themselves.  When he has you on his hip or gets an angle, he is effective on the offensive end and or around the block. I thought he went to the well far to often with his fade-away jump shot.  While it worked early, his overuse of it allowed opponents to adjust.  When he reaches for the ball on the defensive end, he usually is not in position to recover if the opponent gets the ball first.  Strong rebounder and space eater, plays position defense and is not a big time shot blocker or leaper.  He ism however, steady and he can be coached to better offensive moves.  Tony was one of the top three bigs in camp and there are times when he is dominant.  Now he needs to work on consistency and taking good shots.  He tried to stretch the floor with his perimeter jumper, a couple from the three point stripe, but he had little success in pulling his man out in that most of the shots didn’t drop.  This also meant that he was not in position to board.  He can be a 16-8 guy in college and there were times when he was dominant this past weekend, but not as consistent as I’d like to see in that I hold him to a higher standard. He mentioned Ohio State as the leader but the question was a hypothetical one and I think he knew it got back to people he wished it hadn’t.  Duke is in good shape with Tony, no matter his comment, but they will let the net stretch a bit wider with concerns to post guys.

Mitch McGary (2012)- He is a typical blue collar Inna grown boy who has a toughness to his game.  He displayed a surprisingly good handle and he was almost always in the middle of the play when in the game.  I liked his hustle and he seemed to be in good shape, never dragging while in the game.  He picks up a lot of garbage, plays decent position defense and blocks the occasional shot.  He is a good teammate, cheering for his team when on the bench, showing a lot of emotion which helps pump his team up.  Earned the “Psycho T,” nickname from his teammates.  He is a beast.  He does not back down and has an edge which could be thought of as a bit of an attitude.  Started talking to refs late which I didn’t like.  Needs a better outside game on the offensive end, but he sets a lot of picks is active and calls for the ball with a wide bodied stance to protect his turf.  He also runs the floor very well.  I liked him a lot but some think he is raw in certain areas.  He is to a point but everything I saw is correctable.  One worthy note is that his team won a single game.  Part of that was guard play for it was weak overall in the camp. He is wide open in his recruitment and has no idea where he wants to go.  The media attention is something new and eye opening for both his whole family.  He said Maryland was over the top aggressive in some many words and Texas is a team he like when he was young.  A long list getting longer.  UNC and Duke are both showing interest now.

Nate Britt (2013) -He was much better than when I last saw him two years ago, especially his stroke which was always near the target hit or miss.  He weaves in and out of traffic well and is quicker than I remember.  In short, he is starting to mature.  He went off in a couple of games on offense and his 30 point effort was a game high.  He teamed with Rodney Purvis who arrived a day late.  He also played with NCSU bound Tyler Lewis, who was sick and played but a single game.  The reason I mentioned the aforementioned two is that Britt adjusted to playing with each one.  Duke has good ins with him.  He is close to Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving.  One guru ranked him as the eighth best PG in the camp.  He needs to be fired.  He was in the top three.  The question posed most often in reference to whether he is a point or two guard.  I think he is a PG that can shoot and or a shooting PG.  His size just isn’t there as a 2G but some disagree with me.  I like his game, think he is smooth and worthy of Duke keeping close tabs on.  Paul Biancardi questioned me as to if I though Quinn Cook was the answer at Duke.  He didn’t think so.  Oddly, they remind me of one another in some ways going into their junior season.  If Cook were to stumble, an offer will surely come Britt’s way providing another kid doesn’t sprout up in the 2014 class.

Amile Jefferson (2012) -He was the camps leading scorer and he earned high marks from everybody involved.  His point production is especially impressive when you looked at the guards on his team.  But to be fair, he got a lot of points on the break so his numbers are a bit inflated.  He can get through the smallest of creases in the defense and spots a mismatch in a heartbeat, taking immediate advantage of the situation.  My concern is his defense, which is quite average.  He doesn’t always mix it up in the paint and he floats outside more than he should at times.  He’d be rated much higher if  it were not for the aforementioned.  Still, I like his game a lot … a whole lot and I would personally like to see Duke open talks with him again or take another look in July.  His consistent offensive effort was most impressive in Charlottesville, but his team?  They played in the toilet bowl and were winless going in.

Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke verbal) -He blew up early and almost evey guru had him the tip shooting guard but he played at a lower level on day three.  For one thing, he was feeling under the weather in that bugs were going around in the camp.  His handle is stronger than ever as is his confidence.  He wants the ball.  He nailed a three (video coming) to lead a 20 point comeback and helped his team go to overtime.  In the overtime he handled the ball for just under a minute but his coach suddenly called timeout.  Thing is, there are no timeouts and the other team got the ball and won by a deuce.  Sulaimon looked puzzled which you will see via BDN Video as well.  Nice stroke and super on ball defense is what Rasheed Sulaimon was about.  BTW, Sulaimon will be sending his first diary entry in soon and he will update us throughout the high school season.

Alex Poythress (2012)- Two things … firstly, he was not getting the ball from his teammates.  Secondly, he should have been more aggressive when he did.  He had a so-so camp, scoring 16 in one outing but less than 4 in the rest of his contests.  He still was in good position most of the time but he was lost with the talent level and or ball hogs.  Don’t make too much out of that for Kyrie Irving didn’t play that well last year always and there is a history of such cases.  Still, many will drop him in the rankings.  Poythress is a victim of soaring in the rankings, 15th in Prep Stars when he is a 20ish plus player IMO.  He is versatile and he is having a great season for the Georgia Stars, so keep an open mind before judging his play in the camp.

Robert Carter (2012) - Confident, active and aggressive fits the bill here.  I am not going into his game too much for I have seen him play in 1.5 games total.  However, as members, you will hear from the post player from Georgia sometime this week.  HE said his phone was ringing off the hook when the coaches could call.  He is listed at 6-9 but looked closer to 6-8 to me.  Once I see him again, I will form a better take on his game.  FWIW, I have a five game rule before I will go into a kids game.  He showed a sweet jump hook at the camp and his stock is taking off as offers roll in every few hours.

Devonta Pollard (2012) -From what I saw of him, I liked him but like Carter, I simply need more views.  So we’ll revisit this one day in the future should he remain on the Duke radar.  The coaches have made contact with him as they have Carter.  Some say he got a Duke offer but that is not true.  He may well have misunderstood, so we’ll give him a pass, especially since is very talented.  He helped himself in the camp and his ranking will likely rise from his play.  He has been through a lot of adversity of late, starting with the tornado in Alabama.  Earlier, his Father passed away from cancer.

Rodney Purvis (2012) – Dude can shoot and he likes to shoot, anytime, anywhere.  The problem is that he is streaky.  What I didn’t like about Purvis was the fact he seem bugged out to sit on the bench and he rarely gave up the ball when it was in his hands.  In short, he didn’t seem to cheer his teammates on.  IMO, he is a two guard in that he does not look to distribute, but he feels he is a PG.  When he is on, his team wins, when his shot is off they lose.  The kid can play but he is not on the level of a Kyrie Irving or Austin Rivers.  I feel he is a NCSU lean but those close to Rodney tell me that he finds negatives in all the teams.  I just think he wants to play right away and I know Coach K can only tell him you can compete and the best will play.  Nice handle but not great, very good at taking his man off the dribble if he gets a step and has the ability to stop on a dime and drop a step back shot.

Beejay Anya (2013)  – Holy Big Load, Batman!  He is a beast of a kid but he has a lot of baby fat.  Kareem Abdul Jabbar spoke of the benefits of staying in shape in the camp, saying it is a must to make it and remain in the league.  Let’s hope he was listening.  At first I thought the drills took a toll on his legs but I later found out that he just flew into the camp after playing in another.  That said, I will reserve judgement.  He in no way plays above or even near the rim, but you can see the possible up side and that is why he is worth keeping an eye on.  We have an interview with him as well and he is a good kid.  Didn’t like his hands from what I saw nor that he struggled getting up and down at times.  A space eater for sure who showed me little offense, but of course, he might have touched the ball three time  a game via the pass.  Britt hit him once where he had the man on his hip but he muffed the pass and never saw another one.  However, when he had the advantage he showed he could finish.  He has no outside game on offense.

Note to members – I touched base with all of the above prospects and interviews both print and video are on the way.  We will also have another guest analyst give their take on Duke prospects.  If you are a member and do not have access to the BDN Message Board, you need to sign up for it is included with your subscription but requires a separate sign up and approval than the main site itself.  Just contact me under the FAQ section on the front page of the site if you have any questions.  Many of you are not signed up for the message board and a lot of information you awaits you there that is not seen on the site.  Feel free to drop me a PM message if you have any comments, complaints and the sort.

Getting to know Duke prospect Nate Britt

It’s been a pretty good year for sophomore Nathaniel Britt II, the son of a detective in the financial crimes unit of the Washington D.C. police department. He took over the reins from current Duke freshman point guard Tyler Thornton, his predecessor at both D.C. Assault and Gonzaga HS, an academically-challenging Jesuit school in our nation’s capitol. In his first year on the job, the 6’1″ lead guard was named D.C.’s Gatorade Player of the Year, an award that tries to take into account on and off-the-court achievements., and first-team All-WCAC.

The left-handed point guard led Gonzaga to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference  Championship game and scored 16 points in the game, but lost 51-48 to arch-rival DeMatha, as the team was undermanned with Kris Jenkins, a first-team All-WCAC selection, rendered helpless due to an injury in the prior game. For the season, Nate Britt averaged nearly 14 points, over 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and nearly four steals per game. Often viewed as a cerebral player for his class, Britt had a better than four to one assist to turnover ratio in his sophomore campaign. (2701 word interview ahead) [private]

Kris Jenkins, a bulky 6’6″ South Carolinian transplant, met Nate at an AAU event several years ago and, although they were on opposite teams, they immediately hit it off. Jenkins went to spend some time in Maryland with the Britts, joined D.C. Assault, and ultimately moved into the Britt’s house full-time. Jenkins’ mother, Felicia, the head coach at Benedict College in South Carolina, liked the discipline that Nate Sr. demanded of the boys. They began to attend Mater Dei in Bethesda, MD for middle school and were ultimately joined by 6’5″ D.J. Fenner, son of veteran NFL receiver, Derrick Fenner. The trio have built chemistry and brought their winning ways to Gonzaga. Several colleges, including Georgetown, Seton Hall, and Virginia Tech, are recruiting all three Gonzaga and D.C. Assault sophomores.

At the recent Pittsburgh Jam Fest, Nate Britt led D.C. Assault Gold to (2686 word interview awaits) [private] the Elite 8 of the tournament. Losing 67-61 to All-Ohio Red in the quarterfinals on Sunday morning, Britt scored ten of his fifteen points down the stretch, while trying to close the ultimately insurmountable gap. Twice during the tournament, the personable Nate spoke with us.

Which colleges are most interested in you?

Which colleges are calling? Oh, UCLA, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Villanova, Arizona, Virginia. Oh, and Texas and Duke.

Can you talk about winning the Gatorade Player of the Year award for D.C?

Oh, yeah, that was a great accomplishment. Tyler did that. We’ve had it at Gonzaga for, like, the last three years.

Yeah, you, Tyler (Thornton of Duke), Ian (Hummer of Princeton), and Max (Kenyi of Harvard)

That was good. It was a great accomplishment and I was really surprised by that.

Especially as a sophomore..

Yeah, exactly, as a sophomore, I didn’t really expect it.

Can you talk about your season overall?

The Gonzaga season? Sure, it was a pretty good season, I guess. We lost in the championship game to DeMatha. That was a tough one to take because it was so close.

Well, (Kris) Jenkins was out hurt with an injury and suddenly couldn’t play.

Right, but we pretty much had a young team. So, next year, we’re bringing a lot of good people back. Our best players are coming back. So, we’re fully expecting to win it next year.

Lauren of NBE: What are you focusing on improving this spring?

Knocking down the three-point shot. That’s my biggest thing that I want to improve on and focusing on getting stronger. I feel like I can get to the basket anytime I want, but I need to be able to add strength so I can find my teammates and score even more around the basket. I’ve just got to focus my energy on improving my three-point shot. I definitely want to be able to knock down the three-point shot more consistently and have confidence in it.

You may’ve felt as you touched on this in the prior question, but what do you think is your greatest strength right now or the thing that distinguishes you from your peers?

Yeah, sure, I think my strengths right now are being a playmaker, being able to get my teammates involved. You know being able to get them shots and being able to get myself shots. I guess, in terms of my weaknesses, I’d say it’s just shooting the three and being able to knock it down with confidence. That’s my biggest thing…adding confidence in being able to shoot it.

What about your mid-range? Do you feel okay about that?

Oh, yeah, I feel okay about that, but it’s also something I’d like to be able to concentrate on this summer. I’ve been trying to work everyday to get ready for next year.

What did Coach Turner ask you to work on over the summer?

Oh, yeah, he just said to just consistently work on developing my three-point shot. Just keep working at it. That’s the number one goal. Yeah, yeah.

What about visits? Do you have any planned? Which ones have you taken?

I’m planning on Texas soon. I was supposed to visit this spring, but we’ve been real busy with AAU this spring. I went to Duke at, like, the beginning of the year.
 

With Tyler Thornton?

Yeah, with Tyler, that was pretty cool. That was real fun. I went down to Virginia and that was real fun. And Virginia Tech. So, I definitely want to go to Texas sometime this summer. Hopefully, it won’t be too hot down there.

Another honor you earned recently was being named First-team WCAC. That was another major achievement for a sophomore.

Right, I was also really surprised about that too, but it was a great accomplishment. Us being one of he better teams at Gonzaga, I guess they felt several of us should be candidates, and I was fortunate to be named.

Well, you were the straw that stirred the drink this year.

Thanks.

Tell the audience about your unusual relationship with Kris Jenkins and D.J. Fenner. How you guys came together from different areas of the country, went to middle school at Mater Dei together, go to high school together, and whether you plan on attending college together?

We definitely talk about it. I mean we met in middle school and then we took that onto high school.

Can you explain to the audience how you guys met in AAU?

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.  When I first saw Kris was when we played against him in South Carolina and we played each other in the Nationals. we met him and then he started playing with us. Then, D.J. moved back here because his father is from here.

 

Then, he moved back to Seattle.

Yeah, and then he moved back here. Then, he started playing with us. Then, we started playing in school together and we played with D.C. Assault together. We created a bond and we wanted to take that to high school. That’s definitely something we want to take to take to college, if possible.

Are colleges consciously going after all three of you at this point?

Oh, yes.

Have you talked about it and are you serious about it?

Oh, yeah, we’re definitely serious about it. That’s definitely something we want to do.

Do you have a timeframe for when you want to decide on a school?

Oh, I’m not really sure, but maybe sometime in my junior year. That’s pretty much when I’m hoping for. Right now, I’m just taking it all in and enjoying the visits.

As a lefty, what kind of advantages do you think you have on both sides of the ball, especially when you first go out there?

Oh,  I think it’s harder to guard left-handed players
 

Because you don’t see it as often.

Right, because most people are right handed. So, when you face someone left-handed, it’s a little bit harder and that can just be the edge you need.

And do you think it gives you an advantage defensively? In boxing, for example, my father used to talk about watching out for southpaws because you’re simply not used to getting hit so hard from that side.

(laughs) Right, yeah, I think it does because I’ve been playing against right-handers me whole life, but, being a lefty, I know how to guard left-handed players too.

What’s your current size?

I’m 6’1″ and 165, but I definitely want to hit the weight room this summer and get stronger. Add muscle

What are you projected to be by the doctor?

(laughs) I haven’t been to the doctor’s in a while, but I know I want to add some muscle before I head into next season.

Can you tell the audience about your father? He’s a detective. Do you have any interest in following in your father’s footsteps after your basketball career is over?

(laughs) No, no, I don’t think I’m going to go into that.

Your father comes up a lot with people I either talk to or in articles written about you. They say Nathaniel Britt. I assume he’s going to play a big role in your decision. Is he a real role model for you?

Yeah, he’s definitely my role model and my best friend.

You’ve grown up around a lot of quality point g your game after?uard, but who do you try to model

I would say my favorite player is Kyrie Irving.

I know Kyrie. He’s from my area.

I’d like to model my game after him.

That’s a good model and he’s a great kid.

Yeah, he is. I also like to watch Rajon Rondo. Some people say I play like Deron Williams. Those are my favorites. Kyrie especially and Rondo’s got a similar body type.

Deron’s like 6’3″ to 6’4″

Yeah, he’s a big guard, but Rondo is like me 6’1″ and about 175.

How do you feel about the legacy of DC Assault guards and how it really seems to pass down knowledge and work ethic from year to the next? You know Tyler Thornton from Gonzaga and then Quinn Cook last year.  For an AAU program, they’ve been very good at building a sense of brotherhood and community with players, coaches, and the parents.

That’s been really great because all of them are my brothers. It really started with Austin Freeman and Nolan. Because we’ve all been in the program since we were very little and all of them are like brothers to me. We started out really young and have just stayed very tight through the program. From when I first met Kris in South Carolina, I was in the program.I grew up just looking up to Nolan and Austin.  When I visited Duke, I was with Nolan, like, the whole time.

He’s a great guy.

Yeah, he is. And then Georgetown’s right around the way from me.

Markel Starks?

Markel (Starks) is like a brother to me. I hang out with him. Then, Tyler and Cedric Lindsey and I all went to Gonzaga and DC Assault together.

Are you guys still close?

We’re all very close. Before the championship game, me and Tyler were talking for a little while. Giving me advice.
 

Even though he’s a DeMatha guy, what about Quinn?

(laughs) Quinn went to DeMatha and he was there, but we’re all very close.

Going back to the visits, give the audience a sense of what the experience was like. What did you see? What did you do?

Oh, okay, well, I think the first one was Duke. I went to Duke and I was with Tyler the whole time. Tyler’s like my brother, like I said with D.C. Assault, Gonzaga, and all that, and he just showed me all around. We went to the football game and, when I was there, we saw them play Alabama. I went to that game and it was a good atmosphere. It was. It was. I think the next morning we just hung out and went to the cafeteria.

You spent the night at his place.

Yeah, I spent the night in his place in his dorm.  It was a lotta fun.

So, you were there with Kyrie and Josh too.
 

Yeah, it was awesome. We was all having fun. It was great.
 

How is their dorm room? Is it nice?

It is nice. It’s a big room with three beds. It’s pretty nice.

Where did you go next, Virginia?

Yeah, I went to Virginia after. We went to their football game. They played…who’d they play? I think they played James Madison. Yeah, they played James Madison. We went to that football game and toured around their campus. Then, we came back.

Who did you meet there?

I met the coach. I met the coach and then we watched the practice.

At Duke, did you meet the coaches or strictly the players?

Just the players.

Back to Virginia, you met with the coaches.

Yeah, I met with the coaches. I went with my coach, my high school coach, Steve Turner, and then later we came back that night.

He’s a great coach.

Yeah, he is.

 

Now, on that trip, was it you and Kris?

Yeah, it was Kris, D.J., and I. At Duke, it was just me.

 

After that trip, where next?

After that, we went up to Villanova for their…what is it? Like their Midnight Madness, it was called Hoopsmania. We went up there for that. It was fun and we had a great time. I liked it a lot. I got to watch a scrimmage.

 

Did you get a chance to play with the players at all?

No, not there, but, when I went to Duke, I think I probably did a little bit.

Have you seen any since Philadelphia? Georgetown? You’re so close.

Yeah, I always go over to Georgetown. It’s just so close, but I just basically go over to Georgetown and hang out with Markel.

 

Do you want to touch on Georgetown?

Yeah, I mean I always want to stay close to home. I don’t want to go too far.

Are you a homebody?

Yeah, yeah.

Is distance going to be a major factor for you? How far is “far?”

Yeah, it’s definitely gonna be a factor. Um, I’d really like to stay on the east coast, but, if the opportunity is better somewhere else, I’m going to take it. I’d definitely like to stay on the east coast. (laughs)

What are you looking for ideally in a program?

A place that I like the coaches personally, a coach that puts the ball in his guard’s hands, and a place that feels like home.

Now, we know you don’t want to be a detective with the DC police, but do you have any interest in going into coaching in the future?

Yes, yes, that’s definitely something I want to do. Yeah, absolutely, I feel like I’m a real heady ballplayer and person.

That’s why I asked.

Right, right. That’s definitely something I’d like to do.

At what level?

I think first at the high school level, but I’d definitely like to coach in college. That’s where I want to be.

By the way, as a current player, do you think Coach Turner will eventually coach in college?

Oh, yeah, I think he will because he’s a great coach He knows what he’s doing.

If you don’t go into coaching, what would you like to do after basketball?

I love science so I might want to do something in science. I’m good at science and math, but, like I said, I’d like to go into coaching or maybe training.

 

So, you think you’re in good shape?

(laughs) Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe personal training

Which schools are the ones that are recruiting all three of you?

Georgetown is recruiting all three of us. 1 Hall and I think Virginia Tech. I know there’s more, but I’m not absolutely one hundred percent.

Lastly, do you guys have a nickname? The trio? Three amigos? Something cheesy?

(laughs) No, no, we don’t have anything yet, but we gotta come up with something.

Alright, thanks, Nate.

Sure, sure. [/private]