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Falcon Spotlight

Nate Robertson

Falcon Nate Robertson certainly isn't playing like the first year collegiate player he is.

Robertson has started every game for the Falcons and has come up with several big efforts in helping a young team to a 7-8 record.

The freshman leads the Falcons in scoring (14.7), rebounding (7.7), shooting percentage (.599) and blocked shots (28).

Robertson has accomplished all of this as the Falcon "big man." He's been asked to play a position that's he's not all that set for with a 6-7, 220 pound frame.

No one has recognized that more than Falcon Coach Jeff Berkhof. "Nate's our big guy and he's only 6-7. We'd like to have a 6-9 guy playing his spot. Then Nate could play the 4 man spot. His biggest adjustment to college basketball has been going against bigger players. He's responded well and put up some very good numbers for us," said Berkhof. Robertson has scored in double digits in 13 games and has had five double-doubles.

Robertson understands and has accepted his assignment this year and his work has paid off for the team. But he has hopes that a more typical "big man" will be in the lineup in the future. "I keep asking the coaches, when they go recruiting, are you looking for a big guy? They are and having a big body there will be good for us. I feel out of position at times, but I have the confidence that I can do the job," said Robertson. "Certainly the college game is a lot faster and more physical."

"Nate has a lot of energy and a strong motor - he likes to get after it," said Berkhof. "He's doing what's expected of him on defense and in rebounding. He's been a pleasant surprise on the offensive end. He's doing the job in the paint and drawing fouls," said the Falcon first-year coach.

Robertson agreed that he enjoys the competition that comes in playing college basketball in the WIAC. He developed his competition edge at an early age while playing against his three older brothers.

"With three older brothers I had to have my motor going all the time," Robertson said. "We play family games - two on two - and since I was the youngest I was the smallest and had to go hard."

His oldest brother, Eric, played at Bethel and was a "great player," according to Robertson. His father, Mark, also attended Bethel and was a two-time All-MIAC player. "Games were always competitive and I had to learn to go hard while playing against them."

He is still close to his family and they have been great supporters while he competed at Forest Lake High School and now at UWRF. "Someone has been at every game this year but one. My parents are both in education and they made the trip to Superior on a Wednesday night and then got up at 5:30 a.m. the next morning. My brothers said they owe it to me since I went to their games, but I keep telling them that they don't have to come. It's great to have them there."

Robertson said his basketball strength is when he can play with his back to the basket. "I feel comfortable in the low post. I take what the defender gives me. I think I also have been a presence in rebounding. I was a rebounder in high school and Coach Berkhof saw that and I think that's why he recruited me. I enjoy rebounding - it's me against an opponent and who is going to go get the ball. Sometimes it's just a matter of will power."

He describes himself as fearless on the court. "I can't be concerned about getting a shot blocked or the ball stolen. What every it takes - you have to do it. I like to think I can score against anyone. I don't back down against bigger opponents."

Already this year Robertson has 28 blocks to his credit and is third in the WIAC in that category. "I like coming from the weak side to get blocks - it seems like I've always had the timing - a feel that I've built up. On the ball blocks are a little bit more lucky."

The Falcons have had some tough, close losses this year but that has not had a negative effect on the freshman or his teammates.

"We're young with no seniors. I understand that we are having trouble closing out games because we are young. But we are gaining confidence and we are learning how to do that. I want to win this year but at the same time this year is not the end. A lot of guys will be back and we will do well. The future looks good for Falcon basketball."
Nathan Robertson

Nate Robertson

Hometown: Forest Lake, Minn.

High School: Forest Lake

Year: Freshman

Height: 6-7

Weight: 220

Major: Biology

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