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LAKE CITY, Minn. (KTTC) - Nate Heise is not making excuses. None of the truly great athletes ever do.

Aside from their talent, it's their work ethic and determination that sets them apart from the rest.

So while some athletes see quarantine as an obstacle, Lake City's Nate Heise sees a chance to separate from the pack.

"I definitely think there's an opportunity because either people don't have the facilities or they don't have the motivation to workout in some cases, so it's definitely an opportunity to get ahead of the others," he said.

The 6-4 future Northern Iowa Panther has three basketball hoops at his house, and a shed with weights, so that he won't go down to Cedar Falls unprepared. Make no doubt about it -- Heise has all the motivation he needs to make an impact at the next level.

"It definitely centers around my role at Northern Iowa and how much that motivates me to work as hard as I can so I can get as big of a role as I can as a freshman as possible and the four years after that," said Heise.

Heise was nothing short of phenomenal during his career at Lake City. The All-State guard was the only non-metro Mr. Basketball finalist, and averaged nearly 30 points per game while shooting 40% from beyond the arc. But he also played above the rim, and the depth of his game will allow his skills to translate to college basketball.

"I definitely think I can play there as a freshman hopefully, but they talked to me about just being a great defender, a knock down shooter, and just being able to play off the other guys and just run their system really well," he said. "They run a lot of sets and a lot of actions that I think I can do well in, but it definitely comes down to defensive rebounding at the end, and I feel like I can do well in that role, especially at the college level."

And while he's stuck at home, Heise -- who is one of the more steady scorers in the state -- wants to continue to hammer down his strengths.

"Just continuing to get my shot consistent," he said. "That's definitely a big, important piece. Just being able to not have hot games and cold games, just staying relatively consistent."

Thank you to future Northern Iowa guard Nate Heise for being on this edition of the Coronavirus Chronicles.

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Mark Poulose

Mark Poulose is the Sports Director at KTTC.

You can find him on Twitter @MarkPoulose.

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