Nate Grimes: From Las Vegas via Finland to BG Göttingen

What do Nate Grimes and Philip Hartwich have in common? They both play for the Bundesliga team BG Göttingen in midfield – and they are laggards in basketball. Like Hartwich, Grimes did not get into basketball until he was 16 – thanks to his grandmother, who trained the tall teenager to audition. And he stuck to it.


American football came to the forefront of the Grimes family in the entertainment paradise of Las Vegas. The two brothers – an older, a younger – play football, the father also played “semi-professionally”, but was also active as a baseball and basketball player, as Nate Grimes explains. His younger brother is aiming for a professional career and coaching with the Las Vegas Raiders. The 25-year-old also has a younger and an older sister. “I’m the middleman,” says Grimes, who enjoyed growing up in Las Vegas. “There are not only casinos that are fine residential areas. Of course it’s hot, but growing up there was very nice. ”

After school, he switched to Fresno State University in California, where he studied biology between 2015 and 2020, wearing the Fresno State Bulldogs jersey a hundred times. In his senior year 2019-20, Grimes averaged 11.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

His first professional position was the contrast to his past life in the Nevada desert and in the sunny state of California: he signed a contract with the Finnish first division club Kobrat Lapua. The small town of Lapua (approximately 15,000 inhabitants) is located four and a half hours north of the capital Helsinki in western Finland. “It was a big change in temperature and weather, I was not much out in the city. I could see the northern lights from my backyard, which was cool,” says Grimes, who meditated during this time and learned to stay positive, “though you do not know what to do next. ” He also saw “real snow” for the first time in Finland, but he has not tried any winter sports. “It was too cold, I stayed home after training,” says the man, who had one of the hottest spots in the world in his immediate vicinity, “Death Valley” near Las Vegas.

This was followed last year by a switch to Belgium for Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen, where the 2.03-meter-tall basketball player, who had to take a break from a couple of matches in November due to an injury, spent about 27 minutes per game. match on the floor in which he scored 18.0 points and snatched 11.9 rebounds. By the beginning of September, Grimes had already been in Göttingen and had lost a test match in the Sartorius Basketball Lab with the Belgian first division team by 72: 104. So he knew what to expect when he moved to southern Lower Saxony in February. “BBL is a tough league that everyone takes very seriously.”

The American likes Göttingen, he has already looked around and will definitely spend more time in the city “when it gets a little warmer outside”. Even as a grown man, a boy from Las Vegas will always remain a person of warmth and sunshine. Grimes has already explored the restaurant scene, met with the team at Local Neun, been to Burgeria and sat outside in front of Bullerjahn. He admits he is not an avid cook. “I usually order something because I like pizza and pasta the best. In Finland, I made a lot of food myself – quite simple things like steak with rice and vegetables, “says the center.

Grimes feels well received and accepted in the BG Göttingen team. He says it was difficult in Belgium to get back on the team and find the rhythm after his injury. “Now I’m moved to a better league with better players. I’m still trying to find my way, but it’s easy to talk to my teammates. Getting here was a big step for me. The league is more structured, there are many talented players here.” Everything is at a slightly higher level than he has come to know before.

The current match day booklet is available here

When he came to BG, he initially made it his goal to look from day to day. But his main goal is to “reach the playoffs.” Then he would not have the last home game of the season against JobStairs GIESSEN 46ers on his 26th birthday on May 1, but would get an extra help. “That would be a great birthday present.”

Hamburg Towers next BG guest on Sunday

In the final sprint of the main round, the Bundesliga basketball club BG Göttingen has a short time between the individual matches. It’s three full days for the violets between the home games against Frankfurt and the Hamburg Towers. After two international matches on Monday and Friday, the team from the Hanseatic city to Göttingen comes to a duel between their neighbors who have the same number of points. Tipoff is Sunday at 18.

After the new Lower Saxony Corona regulation came into force, the restrictions for the BG home matches were all lifted – 3,447 spectators are again allowed in the Sparkassen-Arena. “Given the high number of cases, we recommend that fans continue to wear an FFP2 mask, even though this is no longer mandatory,” said BG CEO Frank Meinertshagen. Tickets for the duel with the burgers are available from the Tageblatt offices in Göttingen (Wiesenstrasse 1) and Duderstadt (Marktstrasse 9). The ticket office in Sparkassen-Arena opens on Sunday at 16.30 for visitors at the last minute.

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