Gators welcome player from across the pond


Nathan Hall, England native and first year student, is a defensive player for the Allegheny men’s basketball team. Prior to attending Allegheny, Hall was most excited for the traditional American college experience.

Coming from London, the college experience is different. In England there are few universities that have a traditional college culture with dorms and campus organizations.

“All of the universities are in the city with no dormitories,” Hall said. “Being English, you see these type of college students on TV.”

Hall is most excited about dorm life, Greek life and football games. Coming to America from England, he was interested in the competitive basketball culture.

“No one in England really cares about basketball unless they are actually playing it,” Hall said. “The best player in England would be an average player here in America.”

Hall has a passion for playing basketball that began inhis younger years. Admitting to being a trouble-maker in secondary school, Hall began to work closely with a coach, who soon became his mentor, offered him guidance and introduced him to basketball.

“I kept getting in trouble in class with my teachers, and the basketball coach found me and we started speaking and I started practicing with him everyday,” Hall said.

Hall continued to work with the same coach throughout his years in England. Hall played for the England national team for two years and the London team for three years. After finishing what is the American equivalent of high school, Hall applied to different schools, but decided to take a gap year.

“I finished my education in England two years ago,” Hall said. “I applied for universities and I got into them but I wanted to go on a gap year because I didn’t really want to go into my education straight away.”

After finishing his gap year, Hall was influenced by his best friend to attend a prep school located in New Hampshire. His time at prep school exposed him to dorm life and American culture. Hall continued playing basketball and soon began to consider colleges.

Soon after that Allegheny men’s basketball coach James Driggs was in contact with Hall. Driggs maintained contact with Hall during his college search and was a determining factor to his decision to attend Allegheny.

“We are excited that Nathan is a Gator and I hope that he embraces all aspects of life on campus,” Driggs said. “He has the potential to make a great impact on the campus community.”

His teammates have come to appreciate Hall as a player.

“Nathan has a lot of energy on the court,” Brandon Smith, ’15, said.

Hall is not the only player who traded the London lifestyle for a traditional American college life. His best friend, who is also originally from England, attends Kenyon College. They attended prep school together and now the friends will soon face each other at Allegheny on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. The bleachers will not be filled with just Allegheny fans, but Hall’s family who plan on flying from London to watch the two friends play.