Carolina basketball shooting guard Nate Britt has grabbed headlines this summer with his decision to switch his shooting hand from his left to his right. The sophomore recently sat down with GoHeels.com’s Jones Angell to discuss what prompted the change, as well as his expectations for the next season.
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“I always played with both hands. In games, I would shoot left-handed and right-handed. In high school, I decided to play with one hand, so I could lock in on one hand and give it more attention. I decided to choose my left hand. I’m naturally left-handed,” Britt says.
Britt’s shooting background is interesting to say the least. But he’s changed his mind on his shooting hand after struggling with his accuracy from the field during last year’s basketball campaign.
But Britt says it wasn’t his decision alone to make the switch. It was a group call made by his father and coaches.
“My dad and I have always talked about how I should shoot right-handed again. After this year, Coach Davis saw me shoot right-handed. Coach [Williams] has seen me shoot with it. We decided to test it out. We’ve liked what we’ve seen so far. I’m sticking with it,” Britt says.
Britt acknowledges that the news may come as a shock to most of the public, but he says it’s no big deal for him personally.
“I’ve always done it that way. It’s very natural to me. I know a lot of people are like, ‘Why would you do that?’ It’s always been something I’ve done. It’s nothing new to me. It’s just a tad bit of a difference,” Britt says.
Last season, Britt averaged a mere 5.1 points and 2.4 assists while averaging 20.9 minutes per contest. But it was a far brighter story from the charity stripe. While a majority of the Tar Heels struggled mightily to find the mark from the foul line, Britt fired down an impressive 28 of 30 free throws in ACC play, a 93-percent clip.
But Tar Heel fans need not worry. At least from the foul line, Britt has no attention to abandon his left-handed ways.
Britt is hoping he’ll really let head coach Roy Williams’ teachings sink in even further in year two at Chapel Hill. He says he’s trying to be less mechanical on the floor and let it flow.
“I would like to better understand the way the coaches want me to play – incorporating it, not being a robot out there and actually playing basketball,” Britt says.
Building up strength in the offseason was a priority for the slender Britt. He says he’s pleased at his progress in that department so far.
“I definitely know I’ve got stronger. Through the weight gains I’ve made, I’ve been able to lift heavier weights with the leg and arm exercises we do. I do feel that I’m bigger. I feel stronger. I’m happy with that,” Britt says.
In terms of goals, Britt is keeping it simple and recycling an old buzz phrase from last season: playing with a sense of urgency.
“I would like for us to do a better job of always playing with that sense of urgency that we didn’t have all the time last year. I feel like if we do that, the sky’s the limit for us,” Britt says.
Tar Heel observers can expect a bit of confusion when the switch shooting Britt takes the floor in the Smith Center this fall. But whether he’s shooting right or left-handed, the goal will be the same: finding the bottom of the net.