Houma native Nate Frye does not yet know what part of the world will be home next basketball season.
But he does know that he’ll be ready whenever the time comes to toss the ball up in the air and get to work — as ready as he’s ever been in his career.
Frye competed in Uruguay in his rookie season, serving as a standout guard for Atletico Welcome. He was one of the team’s leaders in points, assists and steals.
Now home, Frye said he’s patiently waiting for the next opportunity while putting in the time and effort necessary to continuing progressing in both his skills and conditioning.
“I’m just trying to stay in the gym and keep in shape,” Frye said. “It’s always hard when your season is so far out to keep in shape — especially with the weather being the way it is with the heat and stuff. You want to get your cardio and stuff in. … So I’m working hard and staying active to be ready for the next time my name is called.”
Frye is an exceptional athlete who has had success at every stop.
At Houma Christian, he was an Alpha male — a multi-sport All-State standout, arguably the best football and basketball player in the history of the school. He also played a little outfield one season for the baseball team.
Frye said one of the reasons why he believes he’s been so successful is because he embraces the label of “athlete” instead of basketball player.
Frye is billed a standing just north of 6-feet tall. He weighs a little more than 200 pounds.
The local standout’s frame doesn’t look much like a basketball player — more like a halfback or linebacker. That ability to thrive through physicality is something he said he’s learned throughout his career, adding that being a multi-sport athlete in high school helped him to get where he is today.
“I’ve always taken pride in maybe not being the biggest, but being the fastest, the strongest and the most skilled,” Frye said. “And a lot of those skills have been a big help to me in my basketball.”
From Houma Christian, Frye then went to UNO where he was a four-year letter winner — a player who was a huge part of UNO’s turnaround from Southland Conference cellar dweller to annual contender.
Frye said no matter what happens the rest of his career, he’s grateful to UNO coach Mark Slessinger for teaching him how to truly work hard and push his body to the limit.
Frye played well as a rookie last year in Uruguay and he said one of the biggest reasons for that success was because he challenged himself to work as hard on his own as he did in college.
The hours he punches in and punches out might be different, but the amount of work done in a day hasn’t and never will.
“I always told myself I want to work as hard my whole career as I did in college,” Frye said. “If I can keep that same grind going, I’ll be OK. I may not wake up as early — I may not wake up at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. anymore. But I always try and put some grind in every day — whether it’s home or cold. … I always say this. It may hurt now, but it’ll all pay off one the season starts.”
When exactly that season will start, Frye is not sure.
He said he’s been talking to different teams around the globe waiting for an opportunity that fits him.
While waiting, he’s also gotten a gig doing software analysis for a government agency.
“The goal is to stay in the states, obviously,” Frye said. “But there’s a lot of networking that needs to be done. We’re in a small part of Southeast Louisiana. Not a lot of guys come here for basketball purposes. We’re more of a football and baseball area. So I’m just continuing to work hard this offseason for when my time comes. I always say that this is the time that guys get better. Once the season gets here, it’s kind of late to make strides to get better. So I’m working to make those strides now.”