Just as soon as Nate Schulte got to Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H. after transferring from his Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas, Nev., he almost had to get ready to return home. Why? Maybe it's because the way the 6-foot-6, 215-pound small forward plays each game like it's his last.
Never short of energy or shy of a challenge, the once undersized interior player met his match in future Connecticut forward Jeff Adrien as soon as the hoops team hit the hardwood at Brewster. Both players empty their tanks and that blow for blow game just about sent them back home.
"Me and Jeff almost got kicked out of the school because we went at it in practice and got pretty physical. They said if we got into a fight, we'd be kicked out," Schulte said. "Finally when we calmed down, we talked about it and said we might as well be cool with each other because we'll be going head to head so much."
The days of Schulte and Adrien battling it out under the basket are over. Schulte is now in the backcourt and is improving his skills on the perimeter as a wing, a position where he'll likely play his college ball. The move is something that the class of 2006 prospect is relishing in.
"I like it," he said. "You pretty much have the ball in your hands at all times. In the post, you have to worry about the guards getting the ball and getting you involved. You don't have to worry about it that much but more about creating your own shot. I still crash the boards. It's the best of both worlds. (Rebounding) is one of my favorite things to do no matter what position I play."
Instead of Adrien, Schulte has his fair share of challenges on the wing.
"When you go against guys like (Purdue bound) Chris Lutz, (Providence bound) Weyinmi Efejuku and (Washington bound) Harvey Perry everyday in practice you're only going to get better," Schulte said. "It's funny because of all the guys I go against, I usually get (fellow Las Vegas native) Harvey all the way out here."
His move to the wing is paying off. Schulte scored a season high 28 points against the Hyde School last week. An injured ankle, which was suffered while taking an offensive charge, will sideline him until January.
His move to Brewster has also helped him become more disciplined in the classroom and new schools are starting to pay more attention to the student athlete.
"Recruiting, things have changed, too. There are more schools from the East coast and the list has changed somewhat," Schulte said.
Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Illinois State, Indiana, Providence and Stanford are the main programs that stay in contact with letters he says. There might even be more.
"Every week there are new coaches stopping by so who knows who else is seeing me," he said.
And they'll still find him at Brewster, knocking heads against anyone who wants the challenge.