Capital Christian point guard Nate Garth is fast becoming a rising star in Northern California. The 6-foot-1, 155 pound sophomore, who can get in the lane, set up his teammates and score when needed, reminiscent of San Antonio's Tony Parker, is receiving considerable interest from several big name colleges.
Last season, the highly sought-after point guard averaged 13.5 points and 9.4 assists per game. However, according to Capital Christian coach Bill Nelson, those numbers are misleading. "There were about six games there where Nate was affected by a broken wrist. During those games, he couldn't look to shoot at all. It was only passing for him," said Nelson. "In fact, Nate led the conference in assists. And each game there were several times where Nate would set somebody up for a layup, only to have the ball get bobbled or the layup get missed. Realistically, Nate should've averaged several more points and assists per game."
Nelson is looking forward to next season with his star point guard at the helm. "Next year, I expect a lot of leadership from Nate. I expect him to make a lot of players on the team better. We should have a good team next year, so Nate will have a lot of options."
Garth may also have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a college. The impressive list of schools that have called Garth include Illinois, Villanova, Kentucky, Memphis, Washington State, Washington, Texas, Auburn, and Florida. He has already been offered a scholarship by Washington State. Garth's top five choices, in no particular order are Illinois, Memphis, Villanova, Washington State and Florida.
Nate is looking for something particular in his school of choice. "I want to go to a school where there will be a junior or a senior point guard in front of me," said Garth. "I want to be able to learn from him, so that I can take over my sophomore or junior year.
Academically, Garth has a cumulative GPA of 3.28 and plans to take the SAT this fall. Unfortunately, he will be forced to leave Capital Christian after his junior year and finish his high school career out of state.
The story began during the 2003-04 school year. Nate enrolled in Franklin High School in Elk Grove and competed in 14 games, including six league games on the freshman team. He then transferred mid-semester to Capital Christian where he repeated the 8th grade for the remainder of the school year. According to his father, Tony Garth, Nate was "a young 9th grader who needed more time to mature."
According to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), student-athletes are eligible to compete during the eight consecutive semesters following the initial enrollment in the ninth grade. In Garth's case, his eligibility in California will end after the 2006-07 season. It is possible to be granted relief from this rule by appealing to the CIF, however Garth's request for a hardship waiver has been denied. To complete his senior year, Garth plans to transfer to Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas, at which time he will undoubtedly be reclassified into the class of 2008.
"I will still play in the 2007-08 season, just not in California," said Garth. "I would like to commit to a college early, sometime next year."
This summer, Garth will join his club team, the Dallas Mustangs, at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, Reebok Big Time Tournament, and ABCD Camp. He will also no doubt spend some time watching game tapes, learning from other players.
"I enjoy watching ESPN Classic, seeing some of the older games and just learning things as I watch," said Garth. Perhaps some day, young players will be watching tapes of Nate Garth running the point, and they can learn a thing or two from him.