LAKE CITY, Minn. (KTTC) -- Nathan Heise wants you to know he's more than just shooter. Sure, the 6-5 sniper is known for his end-less range and Steph Curry-esque pull up jumpers.
But Heise heard the "one-dimensional" chatter, and now the future Northern Iowa Panther can do so much more.
"I wouldn't say it bothered me, but I'm sure it motivated me to expand my game," said Heise. "When I was younger, I was obviously smaller so shooting was my main thing. I would say shooting is still my main thing today, but it's expanded a lot more into driving."
For the first time in his life, Heise didn't play a fall sport, which give him time to expand his game. The results through Lake City's first two games have apparent -- punctuated his 39 point, 14 rebound performance against fourth-ranked Minneapolis North at the Tip Off Classic over the weekend.
"Every year he's been on varsity basketball, he has changed his game and taken it to another level," said Lake City Head Coach Greg Berge. "He's near 190 pounds. He's committed to the weight room heavily. He can handle contact, he can handle physicality; the difference now is he kind of seeks that out."
And form the opening tip of the Tigers Game 1 win over Red Wing, it was apparent that Heise improved physicality and athleticism had taken his game to new heights.
"With that new element, they can't just deny me the ball and not let me shoot because I can drive by them now," he said. "So they have to guard two things instead of just one, and that makes it tougher and opens things up for me and my teammates."
Standing at 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, Heise possesses elite 3-point range, but also now an ability to play above the rim -- a rare, and dangerous, combination.
"He's a very, very special player. He's put a lot of time in," said Berge. "For a kid that scored 39 points, he's incredibly unselfish.He makes everyone around him better. He's just as comfortable dishing off to teammates and scoring, but yet knows when he needs to kind of take over and he understands that because his basketball IQ is so high."
Nathan Heise of the Lake City Boys basketball team is this week's KTTC Athlete of the Week.