Pete Nance is the son of three time NBA All-Star and 1984 Slam Dunk champion Larry Nance, and should his senior season at Northwestern go well, he could conceivably follow both his father and his older brother to the league.
Larry Nance Jr., currently with the Portland Trail Blazers, has been in the association since the Los Angeles Lakers selected him in the first round in 2015. Larry Nance Sr., a three time NBA All-Defensive Team award recipient, saw the Cleveland Cavaliers retire his #22.
Northwestern Coach Chris Collins said that they have had NBA people in to Evanston come out Pete Nance, to see what he potentially offers at the next level.
“You look at the way the game is played now, at his ability at 6-10, to be able to shoot 3s, put it on the floor, play outside- so he kind of fits that NBA mold,” Collins said. “And the pedigree is there.”
“When we first got him, he was 190 pounds, now he’s 230, so he’s really worked on his body and gotten stronger, and this year he has a chance to put himself in all league potential, if he does that, he’ll have a chance to be a pro player.”
The NU coach said Pete Nance showed a lot of improvement last season, and he fits in very well as a “small ball big guy.” Having a NBA Dad no doubt provides a lot of advantages, over the other prospects, in the NBA Draft exploratory process.
“I talk to him about just how I can play better and help this team win- those are the main things I’ve focused on this offseason,” Pete Nance said of his NBA related discussions with Larry Nance Sr. before then discussing what he feels he needs to do in order to improve his NBA Draft stock:
“Just trying to look at the things that I could have done better last year, and overall gain confidence.”
“Winning is our main priority and my biggest goal- hopefully I’ll be a big enough part in that so where I’m set up well after we win.”
Nance is putting up really good numbers so far, averaging 17.3 points per game, 8.1 rebounds while shooting 54% from the floor. The 6-10 Akron, Ohio native has seen a major, steady improvement in statistical production, year over year.
If he continues on that path, NU will rise, maybe get back to the NCAA Tournament, and if so that would be great for all those involved.
And if that scenario is realized, well, he’ll end up in the league, just like the other two Nances.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”