2021’s Nathan Schuliger wants to be the next Kevin Durant | Youth1

2021’s Nathan Schuliger wants to be the next Kevin Durant

Nathan Schuliger is one of the best players from the Niceville, FL area in the Class of 2021.


Schuliger, who attends Rocky Bayou Christian School, is a dynamic player that works as a small forward and power forward.


Schuliger has earned plenty of recognition during his outstanding youth career, such as winning CALSA district tournament MVP.


Schuliger is humbled by the accolade.


“It means a lot,” Schuliger said. “I was blessed to be a part of a great team with great teammates and a great coach who all helped develop me as a player and a person.”


No matter the opponent, every game Schuliger is determined to give it his all.


Schuliger is going all out.


The motor is always at full throttle whenever Schuliger steps between the lines.


“My mindset is to do whatever is necessary to help our team succeed, whether that means score, rebound, hustle, communicate or pass,” Schuliger said.


Schuliger has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the hardwood. Schuliger tells why he enjoys the game of basketball so much.


“What I love most about basketball is that I can always push myself to get better every single day,” Schuliger said.


Schuliger has learned many valuable lessons from playing basketball that he applies to his everyday life.


The main one is applying perspective to all situations.


“Basketball has taught me a lot about life in general,” Schuliger said. “It has taught me to always work hard and to never give up.’


Schuliger recalls his favorite basketball memory.


“My favorite memory is playing all-day tournaments with my teammates in San Antonio and winning our district title game in overtime,” Shuligar said. “It was an incredible feeling.”


Rob Hubbs is in his first season coaching Schuliger for Rocky Bayou Christian School.


Hubbs explains the best parts of Schuliger’s game.


“For us he is the perfect 4/shooting forward,” Hubbs said. “He can play with his back to the basket or step out and hit 3 pt shot as well as bring the ball up the floor if we are getting pressure.”


Schuliger takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Schuliger makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.


“I always try to encourage them, whether they do well or make a mistake; always helping them get better individually to make the team as a whole better,” Shuliger said. “I tell them to never give up and always give everything you’ve got. There were several times our team was down after halftime but we would battle back and win. We just needed a reminder to leave it all on the court, and we did.”


Hubbs adds that Schuliger is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.


“I call him the silent assassin. He does all the dirty work that doesn’t necessarily show up in the stat column such as deflections on D and his teammates respect him for it,” Hubbs said. “I have each of my players talk to the team before practice and he was one of the first ones I had address the team due to his maturity and the valuable insight he needed to share with the team. He also looks out for the younger guys bringing them along and encouraging those who might be struggling.”


Schuliger is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.


“The biggest thing I have learned is to always have a positive attitude, win or lose, and to thank God for the opportunities He gives you,” Shuliger said. “The best advice I’ve gotten is to never give up, no matter the circumstances.”


Hubbs is an advocate of Schuliger’s capabilities.

“We had a key run in one of our games where we had to come from behind to win,” Hubbs said. “We were down five with two minutes to go against one of our rivals when we switched to man to man and with his length Nathan was able to get some steals and really turned the momentum by taking two coast to coast drives that both resulted in and-ones.”


In addition to making clutch plays, Schuliger also has a high level of basketball IQ as well.


Schuliger has excellent basketball awareness that puts him in position to thrive.


“From what I was told in Nathans younger days he was forced to play with the older guys and lack of being able to be physical forced him to adapt his basketball skills to compete,” Hubbs said. “Now he takes that and is able to use his physical size and strength to know where he needs to be positioned to make plays.


Schuliger is on the grind to perfect and hone his craft in any way possible.


“Nathan will do anything you ask to get better and is very coachable,” Hubbs said. “I brought up getting him in the weight room to extend the wear and tear a body goes through over the distance of a season and he welcomed it with open arms. Which not many basketball players are so happy to do.”


Schuliger patterns his mentality after this two-time NBA champion and future first ballot Hall of Fame member.


“I really like watching Kevin Durant and I think I have a similar skill set,” Schuliger said. “I can shoot the three, work in the paint, hit mid-range shots, and I’m tall and lanky.”


Schuliger is constantly striving for greatness in everything that he does.


“I want to always do my best and give all the glory to God because He knows the plans for my future,” Schuliger said.


Schuliger lists science as his favorite subject in school.


“I love learning about God’s creations and how everything works so well,” Schuliger said. “I really like learning about the human body and how it functions.”


Schuliger’s dream school to play at is Liberty University.


“I want to attend their science program and I’ve seen their games,” Schuliger said. “I think it would be really exciting to be on that team.”


Hubbs outlines the areas of improvement that will take Schuliger to the next level.


“We are working on his press breaking ability because he is skilled enough to bring the ball down the floor but has to get accustomed to not being forced to just stand under the basket,” Hubbs said.


Hubbs believes the sky is the limit as long as Schuliger continues to stay hungry.  


“Each game he surprises me and it’s even better when I watch the game film because he does so many things that might not show up in a stat column but is critical to winning a ball game,” Hubbs said. “He gets better and feels like he’s taller each day so excited to see just how far he could go here in the future.”



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