Interview with Nathan Aerts – Bethel University Men’s Basketball – Media Day 2022

Sep 14, 2022 | Interviews, Videos | 0 comments

 

Video Transcript Below

Paul Condry
Welcome here to Bethel University. Men’s Basketball Media Day. I’m Paul Condry, the longtime voice of the Pilots. Glad you can join us here today. Absolutely blessed to be back with you for another go around here and great to have this guy sitting next to us for another couple of seasons. Nathan Aerts, The Pride of Valparaiso High School in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Nathan, first of all, I hear what you’re in that rare error point in time now with your getting close to that 100th game type scenario, you’re in that over a thousand points, over 500 rebounds. You’re in that top 50 of all time Bethel pilots, and you still got a couple seasons to go. So let’s just talk about as you look back on your career and some of the exciting things that you’ve learned and some some of the exciting things that you’ve been able to accomplish thus far.

Nathan Aerts
Yeah, definitely. I feel like the highlight of my career so far is probably two seasons ago making that Elite Eight run, just me just being able to get that far with all those guys. It was really special year and yeah, it was a it was an awesome time to be Pilot when when you look at what Steve’s done and it’s come in has just really done a masterful job of changing the culture of the program. And I love what he’s been able to do and bring in a wide variety of different guys from a wide variety of different backgrounds all over the globe, literally. And yet here we are, a whole new group this year.

PC
So talk about some of the new guys coming into the program and how exciting is to have some of these talented new newbies, if you will.

NA
Oh, yeah, it’s awesome. We got, I think seven I believe seven is the number that we have. Deacon, he’s straight shooter. He’s he’s going to be an awesome addition to our team this year. We we then we got Takara he’s from IMG really athletic going to help us a lot on defense which we really need a lot so I think that’s going to help us and we got our freshman.

PC
He’s going to be a great addition to us on the wing this year as well. And then obviously drew lots that point guard that we were missing last year desperately. That’s really going to, I think, push us forward a lot this year.

All right. As you look at the your development as a player, I mean, you were kind of forced to grow up real fast. I’m going to play a lot of minutes early on against some of the best competition in the country in playing in the Crossroads League. Can you speak to what it’s like playing in the Crossroads League and how difficult it is night in and night out because you can’t take any time off?

NA
No. I think just that first year coming in, the first two years that I was the Marion’s, you have great players up and down. You play them twice a year and no games given to you. You got to earn it. You got to take it. And this league is very, very tough. And it’s shown over the years just with the talent that we’ve been able to produce, just going overseas and making trying to get in the NBA.
We’ve definitely proven that we have a lot of talent in this league and it proves tough every year. That’s why we get six teams in almost every year.

PC
You hold us self kind of a unique situation because your high school basketball coach Barry Coleman played here, coached here. So he’s got that. You’ve had that Bethel connection a little bit as you go back and look at it. So let’s just talk about in hindsight making the decision to come to Bethel and how it’s worked out very.
Are you blessed?

NA
Yeah, 100%. Just being able to build those relationships over the years, it’s just been an incredible, incredible ride. Just and even those guys on my freshman year team, I we still communicate, we still talk to this day and just those relationships are key. I’m blessed to be here and my excitement.

PC
Now as you kind of develop your skill set physically, you’ve also had to develop your your skill set as a as a as a leader, as a vocal guy. You’re not early on you weren’t a vocal guy. But I’ve noticed as you’ve grown up, if you will, you’ve become more of a vocal guy. You’re a guy who’s now who’s getting in people’s faces when you need to do that.
And that’s not always easy for some guys. You’ve had to transform yourself, haven’t you?

NA
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Every year calls for a new role. And I think me being a senior this year and having that experience with a relatively new team, a lot of new guys come in, you have to be that voice and really let people know the expectations and how tough this league can be and will be in the course of the year.

PC
Well, you’ve got some new people on the coaching staff. Caleb Oceans jump join the staff. I can tell you right now, he was a great player here. Steve was a great player in high school. I did a lot of his games in high school and then you throw a mark in there. So you’ve got a collective staff of brilliant minds as well as great coaches.
Can you speak to what it’s like going to work each day with these guys?

NA
It’s awesome, especially the new additions of skill. I think he’s going to be a great addition to our team this year, just his experience and just knowledge going overseas and be able to play pro basketball and have that experience. I think it’s really going to be beneficial for our guys this year to take that next step forward.

PC
I see you got two years of eligibility, it sounds like now because of the COVID thing and so have you putting down on paper and say, listen, these are my goals for this year as a group or as an an individual. How do you go about going into each and every year?

NA
I think Bethel has that standard of wanting to win national championships. Every year we walk in the gym everyday and we see those red banners and that’s the expectation we have and that’s the pressure we put on ourselves. And I think what I want to accomplish most this year is winning a conference championship.

PC
There you have it. Nathan Aerts, the pride of Valparaiso High School in Valparaiso, Indiana, our special guest here on Bethel University Men’s Media Lab. We’ll be back with more right after this.

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