Posted On: 10/1/18 2:00 PM
Young men from all over the state were invited to the prestigious Prime Time Top 40 Showcase in Portland this past weekend, and one of the young men making the long drive up I-5 was Nathan Bittle. It’s been quite a whirlwind of an off-season for the lanky 6-foot-10, 180-pound forward from Crater High School, filled with hoops, honors, and early college scholarship offers. Bittle could have easily stayed at home to rest up for his next hoops venture, but there was no way the sophomore was going to miss this chance to show off his stuff.
“I play against a lot of these guys in league, so I’ve kind of made friendships with them,” Bittle said. “So it’s been fun to come out and play.”
The event comes off what’s been a crazy summer for Bittle. He played AAU basketball for West Coast Elite down in California and by the time July wound down, he had made his mark. “It was a good experience,” Bittle said. “I was playing an age group playing above me so I was a young kid kinda getting bullied here and there. But towards the end of the (AAU) season I was starting to show out and started to do my thing. I was blocking shots, hitting threes, finishing inside, just trying to help my team win.”
Bittle showed at the Prime Time Top 40 Showcase those exact same things – he shot a very smooth jumper beyond three-point range, he finished some shots in the paint, and he used his extreme length to block shots on defense. As a result of combination of skills and immense potential, Bittle has earned national attention – he’s currently ranked as the #27 player in the PrepHoops Class of 2021 rankings – and the early college scholarship offers have started to roll in. Portland started things off offering him first but since then several others have joined in including Pac-12 powers Arizona, Cal, Oregon, UCLA, and USC.
Overall, Bittle has enjoyed the attention but it’s very early in the process for him in terms of doing anything with his recruitment. “I don’t know really, I haven’t really thought about it,” Bittle said. “It feels good but I’ve got to keep working hard and getting better and try to get more schools.”
With the Prime Time Top 40 Showcase in the books, Bittle still isn’t done this off-season. This weekend he travels to Colorado Springs after having gotten an invite to participate in USA Basketball’s Men’s Junior National Team Mini-Camp. “I’ve had a trainer in town and I’ve been working with him on ball-handling, shooting, and conditioning, just getting ready for the USA training camp,” Bittle said. “I’m truly blessed to be able to part of it and I’ve got to thank my coaches and my family for getting me there. I just want to go up there and do my thing.”
Bittle currently ranks as the top player in the PrepHoops Oregon Class of 2021 rankings.