Leiter’s composure composes success
Published 7:44 pm Saturday, November 29, 2014
The fruit of Nathan Leiter’s hard work, in season and out, was on display during the first week of his senior season for Suffolk Christian Academy’s boys’ basketball team, and it led to his becoming the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week.
During the SCA Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 21, the Knights’ star guard/forward was particularly impressive in a 93-90 win over visiting Victory Christian School, putting up 39 points.
“I felt I did pretty good,” he said. “I tried to shoot good and be aggressive and help the team out.”
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Leiter and his teammates struggled with first-game jitters and dysfunction in a season-opening home loss to Isle of Wight Academy on Nov. 18. He scored 12 points.
But he began to find his rhythm against Victory Christian, getting the feel for the best time to take shots and the best time to pass.
“He was much more aggressive about driving on the basket and getting to the foul line,” SCA coach Terry Leiter said of his son, who went 12-for-15 at the line.
Nathan Leiter’s improved play helped give his teammates better and more numerous opportunities, as well. Coach Leiter said it caused opposing players to get into foul trouble as they tried to stop Nathan, preventing them from playing really physical defense later on.
The younger Leiter actually deflected praise to his teammates for this feat.
“My teammates helped get fouls on the other team,” he said. “I felt like that was a big part of why I was able to get that number (of points).”
The coach also noted that with Nathan’s offensive success, he drew double teams, which freed up other Knights for shots.
Though Suffolk Christian lost 75-72 to Peninsula Catholic High School on Nov. 22 in the SCA Tip-Off Tournament boys’ title game, Leiter still scored 18 points and opened things up for his teammates.
Since the week of his nomination, Leiter has helped the Knights to a big win over a conference rival and a 2-2 overall record, already halfway to last year’s win total.
Coach Leiter cites his son’s poise as something that benefits the team, a quality Nathan has developed since his inaugural year of organized basketball with SCA’s junior varsity team, just before he turned 13.
“I had never played a sport before, so I was very new to it,” Nathan Leiter said. “My dad, I would say, inspired me the most. He played basketball in high school and was a good ball player.”
The elder Leiter said his son initially got very little playing time.
“He needed encouragement when he was struggling,” Coach Leiter said.
Nathan Leiter has also improved by playing for the North Carolina Blazers, an Amateur Athletic Union team. This past summer, he attended multiple camps, including one at Lakeland High School, receiving guidance from Clint Wright.
Leiter would like to play in college, perhaps for Liberty University, and has a powerful motivator to regularly play his best — God.
“He motivates me to work hard and give my best no matter what I’m doing,” Leiter said.