Posted On: 08/16/18 7:00 AM

Despite a successful senior campaign at Wilson High School in Tacoma, Nate Stokes found the college recruiting waters a bit cold. So the solid 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward decided to take a prep year in 2018-19 at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut to further his growth as a student athlete. Before then, he suited up for Seattle Rotary on the EYBL circuit this spring and summer and it was an experience he’ll never forget.

“Coming off of high school basketball and and being that go-to guy, it’s helped me develop other parts of my game like my leadership and to keep my teammates together when things aren’t going so good,” Stokes said. “It was tough getting used to coming off the bench but overall I’ve developed more as a knock-down shooter as you’ve got to be ready when they get the ball to you. And, being able to knock down free throws in crunch time.”

As noted, Stokes was more of a role player for Rotary. In spot action off the bench his statistics were minimal, but when he did play he made the most out of his opportunities, showing the ability to run the floor well and hit some open shots out to three-point range. In a game against CIA Bounce in May, he scored a season-high nine points and hit 4-for-4 from the line, helping contribute to a 87-74 win.

With his combination of size and skills, Stokes has generated some college interest. Eastern Washington offered him a preferred walk-on spot and others such as Pepperdine and Princeton have been in contact. He’s sure to generate more interest during his prep season and he’s keeping things open.

“Just someplace I can go and be comfortable, something that will feel a family environment, and where I can help right away,” Stokes said. “Wherever feels like a fit, that’s where I’ll be.”

As he prepares for the fall at prep school, Stokes can look back on his time with Rotary with fondness. “It’s been a good learning experience going up against a bunch of Division I players,” Stokes said. “It’s really prepared me to go to Putnam Science Academy and play at that level.”