Nate West - Winning On and Off the Court


Nate West has become a familiar name around the LeTourneau campus over the last four years, and rightfully so. The senior accounting major from Houston has broken multiple school records and helped lead his team to the NCAA tournament this season. But he is quick to say that it is not about him, “Playing basketball isn’t about me, it’s playing for each other and being 100% for the team,” West said. This sentiment is echoed by the YellowJackets men’s basketball coach, Dan Miller, “For all the awards and recognition, Nate practices great humility and lives by James 4:10 – “Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will lift you up”.”

Nate’s leadership and selfishness also resonated with his YellowJacket teammates, “Nate was overall a great captain/leader. He always faulted himself for any mistake that happened on the court because that's what great leaders do,” said Justin Moore, Houston junior. Andrew Eberhardt, Pearland sophomore, said “What makes Nate a good teammate was his belief in me. If I ever had a bad game, he would always tell me to keep shooting, or that was a good shot and the next one is going in.” YellowJacket teammate and Houston freshman, John Argue says, “One of Nate’s biggest strengths was his composure. No matter what the game time situation was, Nate never got uncomfortable and just locked in on the game plan while leading us on the court.”

West’s senior year on the court was a dream season for any player. He was named LeTourneau's first ever National Player of the Year, the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III National Player of the Year and DIII News National Player of the Year, along with multiple other All-American and Conference awards. Most recently, he was one of 14 players selected as a finalist for Small College Basketball’s 2020 Bevo Francis Award. “It’s a great feeling to be recognized for this. I have had an amazing career at LETU, and I’m glad I could make LETU and everyone who supports me proud,” West said. LETU Athletic Director, Terri Deike said, "Nate West is the epitome of what a great student-athlete should be. He is passionate about the game, works tireless hours outside of practice to improve his skills, is a trusted teammate and leader, and is humble when the work pays off and accolades come his way. As a former basketball coach, I know how rare it is to find his combination of talent, commitment and personality in one person."

Nate said his love of basketball began when he was in the 3rd grade and he began playing on a team at the YMCA. “Basketball brings everyone together, you become close to people who are sometimes much more different than you,” West said. He has also made basketball fans out of many people on campus, “It’s great to see students on campus that tell me I had a great game. Even my professors have come to games and been supporters,” Nate said.

“I have known Nate since he was a sophomore in high school. I knew he was going to be a great player, but he exceeded all our expectations. The difference with Nate and so many other athletes is his true love for his sport. Nate loves basketball so much and puts countless hours in every day to become such a great player. It is cool that Nate picked LETU because he felt wanted here and a true connection,” said Coach Miller. West said what drew him to play for and attend LeTourneau was the family environment on campus and the fact that he would be close to his grandmother who lives in Nacogdoches. “I want to thank everyone at LeTourneau for the best time of my life,” West said. “It has been the most special experience I have ever had. Everything about the school is great, and most special of all is my team. Coach Miller teaching me and allowing me to do the things I did every game was a blessing. He taught me so much about basketball on the court and even life lessons off the court.”