Swen Nater is a former player on two UCLA national championship teams coached by John Wooden. Swen never lost a game at UCLA and helped contribute to the Bruin’s eighty-eight game win streak. Swen’s role was to help develop All-American Bill Walton. He fulfilled his role perfectly and, in turn, Swen became nationally recognized when Walton claimed, “Swen is the best center I’ve played against all year.” That label, and the honor of becoming the Most Valuable Player in the Pizza Hut All-Star Game after his senior year, helped him become a first round draft pick. Swen is the only player in history to never have started a college game as a senior and be drafted in the first round. He was the ABA Rookie of the Year in 1974 and went on to a long career in the ABA and the NBA.
After his playing days, Swen taught at Christian Heritage College while also serving as the school’s athletic director and men’s basketball coach from 1985 to 1995. In addition to writing and speaking frequently, Swen is a business professional with Costco Wholesale. Swen and Coach Wooden are co-authors of John Wooden’s UCLA Offense (2005). Swen is also the co-author of You Haven’t Taught Until They Have Learned, John Wooden’s Teaching Principles and Practices (2006), Pete Newell’s Playing Big (2007), and The Complete Handbook of Rebounding (1996).
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If you aren’t familiar with the amazing story of Swen Nater’s life, get ready to be blown away by his unique journey through life and the game of basketball!
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