Spotlights on MD sports stars: Nate Wildman

David Maydan, Contributing Writer

For Nate Wildman (8), basketball is a crucial aspect of his extracurricular life. His experience on the court has allowed him to mature into both a seasoned athlete and an effective leader.

According to Wildman, he was drawn to basketball from a young age. After a family friend introduced him to the sport in second grade, he joined and soon excelled in a local recreational league, he said. In the third grade, he took his skills to the next level for an AAU competitive travel team. Since then, Wildman has been practicing and playing for teams across the city, he said.

“I like the competitive nature of it, and I like how there are so many plays,” Wildman said. “It’s not like football where it’s a slow drive down the field. There is an exciting play every possession…there’s no down time in basketball,” he said. Wildman enjoys the constant momentum of a basketball game because it heightens the competitiveness and allows him to take advantage of his athletic abilities, he said.

Today, Wildman leads the Middle Division (MD) Eighth Grade Boys Basketball team as both a group-motivator and  the top-scorer with an average of more than 22 points per game. “His effort in games and practices is really consistent. He’s a positive leader and a vocal leader. He helps to motivate others and keep people focused,” team Coach Drew Samuels said. On the court, Wildman averaged close to a double-double with points and assists.

However, he recognizes that there is still room to improve as a team. “The season was a little disappointing because I really do think that a couple teams – if we played them again, we would have beat them,” Wildman said.

As he finishes his last year in the MD, Nate looks forward to playing for the Upper Division team and hopes to improve himself as a player by working on his defense and physical fitness, he said.