Ep.33 – Swen Nater

Swen Nater has a truly remarkable story. No one has done what he did. He never played high school basketball (cut from tryouts) and sat the bench behind Bill Walton at UCLA. Yet, he was the 16th overall pick in the 1973 NBA draft. Swen chose the ABA first; he was not satisfied with simply being drafted. He led the ABA in rebounds and was a two-time All-Star. When he joined the NBA, he led that league in rebounds and in one game grabbed (scored) 18 defensive rebounds in the first half, currently an NBA record. Swen Nater is a member of the prestigious 30/30 club for 30 or more rebounds and points in a single game. He is currently in 24 (9th) place in the NBA record books for field-goal percentage and 6th in rebounds per minute played. Swen discovered his passion for teaching and learning at UCLA while watching a great teacher, John Wooden. He joined Ron Gallimore to write the book You Haven’t Taught Until They Have Learned, which is a study of Wooden’s teaching methods. His other books are: John Wooden’s UCLA Offense, Playing Big with Pete Newell, The Fundamentals of Rebounding, and A Reason for the Rhyme, his own poetry. Swen Nater earned his bachelor’s degree at UCLA and San Diego Christian College. He is currently a buyer at Costco Wholesale in the Seattle area, holds basketball clinics around the world, and is a sought-after motivational speaker.


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