Past CMBA Community: Bow River South Basketball Association
Current School: MRU Cougars Men’s Basketball (Mt Royal University)
Accolades: Canada West All Rookie 1st Team 2019/2020
Current Activities: Coaches Youth Basketball
Questions with MRU Cougars player Nate Petrone:
Q: Who is your favourite basketball player?
A: I've always been a huge LeBron fan, but players that I really like watching and learning from are Devin Booker, Tyler Herro, and Luka Doncic.
Q: Which basketball team do you root for?
A: Pretty much anywhere LeBron goes, I'll go. When I started watching basketball frequently, LeBron first signed with The Heat, and ever since I've just been sticking with him. Seeing Toronto win was also pretty awesome so I'll never complain with a great Raps season.
Q: Who has the best basketball uniforms of any college or pro team you like?
A: I love the Kentucky Wildcats jersey or the purple throwback Raptor's jersey.
Q: What is your favourite basketball movie?
A: Has to be Space Jam. MJ and the Looney Tunes. How could anyone not like that combination?
Q: What is your favourite candy?
A: Sour Patch Kids
Q: What is your favourite ice cream?
A: Boring choice, but vanilla, preferably with pie.
Q: Do you have a hobby?
A: I love golfing. There's no better way to start your morning than with a round of golf. I like watching golf too. It's extremely fun, definitely tests my mental strength and fitness, and most days I'll play horribly, but when those good days come around it's even better. I'll probably beat my Dad next year.
Q: Do you have a favourite pregame meal?
A: Nothing in particular. Usually something light. Mom usually makes those decisions for me.
Q: What is your favourite basketball play?
A: I like when a player gets on a hot streak shooting/scoring. Like when Klay Thompson scored 37 in a quarter
Q: What do you love most about the game of basketball?
A: I wouldn’t say there’s one specific thing that I love the most. I just think everything about basketball makes me love it so much. I love the process of learning new things, working on your game, and obviously competing. But I think my favourite memories come from high school when the gym was packed and I hit a big shot or made a great play and the roar you received from the crowd or the silence you give to the opposing fans. It’s a feeling that will never get old.
Q: Do you have a favourite memory from when you played in the CMBA?
A: Not really a memory but more of the whole experience. At a young age in CMBA I made lifelong friends that I still play with today, so growing up doing what I loved to do with my closest friends and all the great moments and good times we had will always be something I’ll remember.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you received from a coach?
A: Don’t take anything for granted and live in the moment. My high school coaches always said it’ll be over before you know it, which was totally true so just enjoy every single moment and go hard every single game you can.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to younger players?
A: Watch basketball. And I’m not talking about the mix-tapes or fancy plays you see on social media. Watch college basketball, watch old and current NBA games. You can learn so much from just watching hoops.
Q: Being a youth coach yourself, what is one piece of advice you would give youth coaches?
A: I would tell other younger coaches to picture themselves at that age and give them advice or knowledge that you wish you had at that age. Also try to get to know your players, be approachable, and joke around with them.
Q: What basketball skill is your greatest strength?
A: Shooting is definitely my greatest strength. Shooting opens up everything else for me too because now players guard me tightly and I can get around them and go to a mid-range/layup or draw other defenders and find a teammate.
Q: What was your biggest failure or adversity you have faced in the game, and how did you over come it?
A: Coming out of high school I wanted to go to many U-Sports schools that passed me up. It was the biggest blessing in disguise because going to Mount Royal I had a greater opportunity to play so I just used all the rejection I got from other schools as motivation and had a great rookie year at MRU.
Q: Are you a vocal leader on the court or do you lead by example? Or both?
A: I’m starting to become a better vocal leader in practices but there’s still room for improvement. Also I do believe I lead by example, I would never tell anyone to do something that I myself wouldn’t do or haven’t done.
Q: How do you find positive ways to communicate with your teammates? To build team culture.
A: This is an area that I’m trying to get better at because the majority of the time when a teammate was messing up my first instinct was to get mad at them but now I’m really working on lifting them up keeping their confidence high telling them to move on from it and maybe show different options they could even look for. They know they messed up they don’t need me to tell them that.
Q: What is something interesting about you that no one really knows?
A: Probably just how much I love golfing. An ideal summer day would be 18 holes in the morning, workout and go play basketball, and then another 18 holes.
Q: What is your favourite class or subject in University?
A: Adapted physical activity. We spent a day in a wheelchair and it was crazy how differently people treated me in the hallways and we got to play wheelchair basketball which was fun.
Q: What are your plans after you graduate?
A: My goal after university is to play a couple years of pro basketball whether that is overseas or in the CEBL and then I want to become a Phys Ed/social studies teacher and to coach basketball.
Q: How are you training during the Covid-19 pandemic to prepare for the next season?
A: I’m working out a lot at home, just trying to get stronger, faster, and just a better overall athlete. I’ve also been doing yoga trying to become more flexible. I’ve been missing playing games but I do think it’s a blessing in disguise being able to train for another whole year and coming back in my 2nd year an overall better player.