Nader pushes through hard times


Northern Star File Photo

By Brian Belford

Abdel Nader has a lot that he could be unhappy about.

NIU men’s basketball’s has only won two games out of the 21 that they have played so far this season. The Huskies’ second leading scorer, Tim Toler, was dismissed from the team. Starting point guard Zach Miller may be out for the rest of the year.

“I try to look at the positives more than the negatives, even though we haven’t been winning much,” Nader said. “We’re getting better everyday, and in the long run, that’s what really matters.”

It was clear the Skokie, Ill. native, would rather be playing ball for NIU than doing anything else, even though he hates to lose.

“I was looking at Marquette, but I came here knowing that I could make an immediate impact,” Nader said. “I hate losing at anything… I just can’t stand losing; I lose sleep over losing. I’m that competitive.”

Nader has shown flashes of brilliance at times, skills that he developed playing against some of the top talent in Illinois when he was in high school at Niles North.

During Nader’s junior year at Niles North, he had the chance to go against some of Illinois’ the top high school talent, including Jereme Richmond, Alex Dragicevich and Marin Kukoc, the former son of Chicago Bulls’ great Toni Kukoc.

“There were other guys I played against who went to Duke and Wisconsin,” Nader said. “So throughout my career I’ve played against really good competition.”

At times during this season, it has been clear that the Huskies found a special player who they will be able to rely on for years to come. Against Iowa, Nader showed he could play against the Big Ten opponents, scoring 18 points. Against Central Michigan, Nader went eight for 11, five-for-five from beyond the arc, all while scoring 22 points to lead NIU to victory. The best was yet to come, as Nader showed his tenacity against Ball State. Nader scored 13-straight points, including three treys to get his team back in the game.

If looks could kill, the look in Nader’s eyes in that game definitely spelled doom for his foes.

“I have a killer instinct,” Nader said. “That night, I kept getting to the line and getting to the basket, and that

Anyone who hates to lose, who has such great potential, and likes to remain optimistic has to be frustrated at how the season has turned out so far.

Apparently, even Nader let’s it get to him sometimes. Although, it seems he appreciates working through the hard times, which he feels will make him a better leader.

“It gets frustrating sometimes, but I have to look past that if I want to be the best leader I possibly can,” Nader said.