SOUTH WHITLEY — One of the areas best hoops players made a big decision Thursday afternoon. Whitko’s Nate Walpole signed his letter of intent to continue his career with Adrian College. The Southeast Michigan school is an NCAA Division III member and part of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
“I like the coaches and the players, it just feels like a good atmosphere for me,” Walpole said of the Michigan college.
Walpole, who averaged over 27 points per game during his senior campaign, was surprisingly under-recruited, especially on the local level. But thanks to his AAU connections Adrian and Walpole crossed paths.
“They (Adrian) came down and watched me after my AAU coach had made a connection up there,” explained Walpole. “I really wanted to be at a school that was far enough away from home but still close enough that my parents could come and watch me play.”
The future Bulldog was twice honored as the IBCA Player of the Week last season and helped lead Whitko to 35 wins in his four seasons of varsity play, including 28 combined between his junior and senior seasons.
Walpole made it a point to get through his final season as a Wildcat before making the choice on his future. He had two visits to Adrian in the past six weeks and realized it was where he wanted to continue his academic and athletic career.
On the institution’s website it boasts these recent accolades, “‘U.S. News & World Report has recognized Adrian College as the ‘#1 Up and Coming Baccalaureate School in the Midwest,’ as well as ranked Adrian College as ‘Regional Top Baccalaureate College in the Midwest’ and a ‘Least Debt Load College.’ Most recently, the College received accolades as a ‘Best Value School.'”
While on campus Walpole plans on studying business with a focus on sports management as he would like to one day become a college coach. Given his decorated individual career, which included 1,977 points scored, Walpole is ready for his talents to help bring some team accomplishments.
“I’m really hoping to win a conference championship to start,” Walpole said. “I’ve already talked with one of the players there and we have our goal set to win a national championship. That’s something I definitely want to try for in my time there.”