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Senior captain forward Nate Furino made the All-SCC Second Team by averaging 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Yellowjackets this winter. (Photo courtesy of Nate Furino )
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Nate Furino has been a key member of the basketball and baseball teams throughout his career as an athlete at East Haven High School. This winter, Nate put together a stellar senior season on the basketball court that saw the captain earn All-Southern Connecticut Conference Second Team honors.
“It really meant a lot. I was trying to go out and play good ball to make a name for myself,” says Nate. “It’s awesome knowing baseball is my main sport and I still had a good season.”
Nate came a long way after a suffering a dislocated knee that kept him off the floor for a good portion of his sophomore year. Nate missed East Haven’s first 14 games after injuring his knee during one of the team’s early practices.
“I started some games as a freshman and was ready to have a better sophomore season, and then that happened. It was tough,” Nate says. “When it first happened, I thought I was done. It was dislocated, then it swelled up, and it was a tough eight weeks. I was just trying to get healthy and get back in the game.”
Head Coach Ricky Narracci noticed that Nate was a little tentative during his sophomore and junior seasons. However, this year, Nate came back strong by averaging 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Yellowjackets. The 6-foot-2 forward was heavily relied upon at all ends of the court for Coach Narracci’s squad.
“Once he got comfortable and played with the confidence that his knee would hold, he really exceeded my expectations this year. He was a great leader and really took the load for us rebounding the ball,” Narracci says. “I enjoyed coaching Nate as much as I enjoyed coaching anybody I’ve ever had. He took constructive criticism very well, worked on the things he was supposed to, and was diligent in the film room. He’s going to be a big void next year.”
One of the biggest factors in Nate’s breakout campaign was his knack for getting to the basket. In his junior year, Nate looked to shoot more 3-pointers. This season, he found other ways to score.
“I was used in big situations, and I try to do what’s best for my team,” Nate says. “Driving added a lot to my game because, scoring all over the place, I was able to create better opportunities to score and do what’s best for my team.”
As a captain, Nate took a lot of East Haven’s younger players under his wing. Nate says he enjoyed holding that role more and more as his senior year wore on.
“It’s about trying to learn every day and show my teammates what to do. I like influencing my teammates to be a better role model,” says Nate. “I try to show them what is best for them, so they can make a better impact on themselves.”
With the basketball season complete, Nate is ready to step on the baseball field this spring. Nate is a pitcher who also plays shortstop for East Haven. He’s looking to make the most of his final season on the high school diamond.
“Right now, I just want to have fun,” says Nate. “It’s about working hard every day and going out there to compete.”
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