By: Jonny Hegarty ‘21
Clay Nanke is an avid and dedicated football and basketball player, he brings high energy and a positive atmosphere to those around him.
Clay states, “Well really I went from football, which was a lot playing varsity this year, and I didn’t know what basketball team I was going to go on this year, it went from varsity football to sophomore basketball.”
He enjoyed his season of football this year and thinks it physically helped him for basketball.
Clay says, “By the end of the summer I was starting, and then we went to Florida with my team and we played, it was a great season to grow and learn from my peers.”
Clay involves himself in the Regis Jesuit brotherhood and understands the value of team bonding.
Clay says, “We work together and play together as brothers.”
Clay understands the importance of bringing those around him up, so they can all succeed together. He has a very large structure, he is 6’6 and growing, which helps him preform as the big man on his basketball team. His large stature allows him to dominate in the paint and get those rebounds. Sometimes the time dedicated to basketball affects Clay,
“It’s rough sometimes not being able to do what I want, but I have such a love for the sport I don’t mind”, Clay says.
Clay is actually part of the few people that dunked as a freshman, an achievement he cherishes.
Clay says, “Dunking is one of the most exhilarating things you can do, every time I do it, it’s just a rush. It’s the greatest feeling ever, every time I dunk my teammates get hyped. I’ve improved my dunks from last year, I’m starting to get a little flashy with it.”
Jack Carbone interviewed Clay and learned that he began playing basketball in 3rd grade for Christ The King. Clay accredits his basketball coach for a lot of his success.
Clay says, “You know he really pushes us, he expects the best. He wants to coach champions is what he tells us. He makes us work harder. He is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had, he has taught me not only basketball lessons but life lessons as well, he’s an amazing guy. He has helped me with my fundamental skills and my carrier.”
He believes his coach brings the tactical advantage to their games and helps them get into their opponent’s heads.
Clay says, “Yea well everyday our coach asks us at practice “Do you guys watch any basketball over these past few days”, some of us say yes but he talks about all the plays he watches and all the things he does to he can be prepared, and new play ideas we can get better on.”
Clay has a favorite teammate that helps motivate him and bring energy to his game.
“My favorite teammate is probably Luca Griego, he always motivates me if I’m not having a good game and he’ll make me keep my head up and tell me hey I’m still doing my best and that I can do it, and we can do it together cause we are brothers and we have this special bond that most teammates can’t attain. We are always together we take the same car pool and everything, we just have something special as a team”, Clay states.
Overall Clay is a good spirited, and hardworking man.