Minnesota Crookston signs junior college big man Powell

Times Report
Nathaniel Powell in a game for Williston State College this winter.

The Minnesota Crookston men's basketball team announced the signing of Nathaniel "Naz" Powell to a National Letter of Intent on Thursday.

Powell, a 6-foot-9 forward/center from Nottingham, England, played the last two seasons at Williston State College in North Dakota. He will have two years to play for the Golden Eagles.

UMC coach Dan Weisse said that Powell will add a crucial new dimension to the team with his play down low. In Weisse's opinion, the Golden Eagles' post play was a weakness last season, but Weisse hopes that Powell can help it become a strength.

"Naz is a mobile big body that will give resistance on the defensive end in the post," Weisse said in a release. "Offensively, he has great hands and is a great passer. He's unselfish and willing to hit the open man, and is capable of scoring it in the post."

Powell averaged 6.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game during his sophomore season, starting 13 of 18 contests. In 2019-20, his first season with the Tetons, he averaged 4.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

“Nathaniel Powell provides versatility and skill at the forward and center positions,” Williston State coach Rylee Hernandez said in a release. "His unique ability to attack off the bounce and his ability to pass make him tough to defend. His ability to defend and rebound at a high rate allows him to be an immediate impact player in the NSIC. Nathaniel is going to be able to step on the floor and compete immediately at a high level. His experience in the Mon-Dak and tough non-conference schedule as a freshman has prepared him for the pace and physicality of the NSIC.

"Nathaniel is a great young man who has a hunger for success. Naz will lead by example in the classroom, in the community, and on the court. We are excited for him to take this next step in his journey.”

Before Williston State, Powell competed as a prep at Barking Abbey School in London. He also competed for the Great Britain national team and the England national team at the youth level.

Powell is the fifth signee for the Golden Eagles this offseason, joining Ron Kirk Jr., Dylan Hushaw, Jerome Mabry and Uzo Dibiamaka. He is the fourth junior college signee.

“I chose Crookston because I really believe in the program and I know we can turn things up this coming season and really ring some bells,” Powell said. “I also felt like I could trust the coaches and my teammates. The main attributes I bring is my ability to make reads, score, play defense, and the ability to be a leader on and off the court. I hope to bring a big impact to the team and the overall program.”

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