Freshman year of college can be tough for anyone, but for student-athlete Nathan Brusseau, a season filled with injuries made for quite the challenge.
Coming in as a freshman to the men’s basketball team, Brusseau had to work hard to solidify his spot on the team and in the lineup. He was able to play in several games during his first season.
Now a sophomore, Brusseau says that he tore his meniscus twice last season– once in October and then again in February. The injuries provide many setbacks. However, he was able to take the time to develop on and off the court.
“When the first injury came, I came back and felt good,” Brusseau said. “I played in a decent amount of games and then I got reinjured. The second time it was a lot more difficult, not only because it was a longer recovery time, but it also ended my season.”
Coming back from an injury, the number one thing he is looking forward to is getting right back on the floor and into the lineup, he said.
Unlike many athletes due to COVID-19 restrictions, Brusseau was able to be on campus for workouts and training earlier, due to his physical therapy. He was on campus full-time in June.
“Physically rebuilding my knee has gone really well, and we’ve been working on the strength and agility side as well. I plan to be at 100% strength by the time our practices start again,” said Brusseau.
One of the main areas Brusseau has seen improvement in is his vertical jump. With rehab, it’s common for athletes to come back with a higher vertical.
“That was a moment brought on by a lot of smaller moments in rehab working to get to that point,” he said.
In the past year, Brusseau has also advanced in the mental aspect of the game. Athletes work for decades to improve their physical skills, but he has seen significant differences in the mental game. He has worked to put the pieces together to achieve the next level.
There are several things Brusseau is working towards for the upcoming season.
Individually, he’s been working to elevate his footwork on the offensive end and his short to mid-range game. He wants to help the team in any way they need.
“I want to get on the floor, do what I need to do, and benefit our team in whatever ways that I can, so we as a team can win a conference championship and make an appearance at March Madness,” said Brusseau.
For Brusseau, UNO checked all the boxes to not only improve on the court but also in the classroom.
“I was welcomed on the academic side very warmly by the business school. I almost came out of high school as a transfer student and UNO accepted all of my credits,” he said.
Brusseau has been able to apply what he’s learned on the court in the classroom. The most important skills that have helped him succeed are time management and work ethic. Building these skills young will help him long term, he says.
“I take what I’ve learned from basketball wherever I go, whether it be the classroom, work or the court,” said Brusseau. “It’s just something that sticks with you.”