September 28, 2022

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Manhattan native makes use of Instagram to stroll on to males’s basketball group

Nate Awbrey used Instagram to stroll on to the Okay-State males’s basketball group. (Courtesy photograph from Okay-State Athletics)

After receiving his diploma, former Manhattan Christian Faculty (MCC) level guard Nate Awbrey thought his school basketball days have been over. Awbrey joined the 1,000 level membership with 1,032 profession factors, whereas rebounding 380 boards and recording 244 assists for MCC in his four-year profession.

Whereas engaged on his grasp’s diploma in group improvement, Awbrey determined to pursue Division-I basketball.

“I used to be jobs with Younger Life,” Awbrey mentioned. “It’s a ministry I’ve volunteered for the final 4 years, after which at some point I simply felt this inclination, ‘I don’t know if I need to be accomplished with basketball.’ God’s calling me to nonetheless be within the sport.”

Regardless of his achievements as a MCC guard, Awbrey had no presents to play basketball following commencement. Nevertheless, social media supplied a gateway to advancing his profession to a degree he dreamed of enjoying at as a toddler.

“I knew there was new teaching employees right here and I had no connection at that time, and I actually DMed (direct messaged) [K-State Head Coach Jerome Tang],” Awbrey mentioned. “I used to be sort of telling him my story about my basketball background, my ministry background and requested him what a walk-on place would appear to be.”

To Awbrey’s shock, Tang messaged him again with an invite to satisfy with him. Over the course of a number of months, Awbrey was accepted into graduate college and labored out with Okay-State’s new roster over the summer season.

On the time, Tang didn’t assure a roster spot for Awbrey, however he refused to let uncertainty drive him away from the game he cherished. Awbrey mentioned he labored onerous, and did it with a optimistic perspective.

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“It was sort of a protracted course of,” Awbrey mentioned. “It wasn’t like ‘yeah, you’re going to be on the group’, however , simply going by it and trusting it and simply having fun with each second. That’s what I stored telling myself: whether or not this works out or not, I simply need to take pleasure in each second of it.”

Awbrey grew up in Manhattan however mentioned that his mother and father raised him to be a College of Kansas (KU) fan, and he’s not the one one in his household within the business. Awbrey’s brother Gabe accepted a place as a graduate assistant coach in Waco, Texas for the Bears.

Awbrey remembers former Okay-State groups with gamers like Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly, who’s now a graduate assistant coach. 

“It’s tremendous cool,” mentioned Awbrey. “They have been simply so good. I bear in mind being at Jacob Pullen’s senior evening — seeing that and the gang. The environment is wonderful, so to have the chance to be right here on the group and have the ability to expertise that first-hand down there on the courtroom. I used to be telling my brother that’s like everybody’s dream rising up.”