« DI Men’s Basketball 2012-13

Nate Wolters


South Dakota State



Wolters is on pace to graduate with a degree in history. He earned academic all-Summit League honors in 2011-12.


Not heavily recruited throughout high school, Wolters signed with South Dakota State after they posted a 13-20 season. The team won 14 games his freshman year, but took a big step forward with 19 wins in his sophomore year, when he played a more prominent role on the team. Last year as a junior, South Dakota Sate tied a school record for wins with 27, when he led the Jackrabbits to their first NCAA Tournament bid at the Division I level. Wolters shows his integrity with his dedication to the game and to improving his game, but not just because he wants to get better, but because he wants the team to get better. His teammates know that he spends extra time in the gym working on his game, and that work ethic is catching on, and now more players spend more time in the gym in the offseason. That’s leadership by example. He’s a reluctant star, but embraces the role because it benefits the university and the program. The only thing people may know about South Dakota State, or even the state of South Dakota, is what Nate Wolters says, so it’s important that he says the right things about the state, the university and the program, which he does, so he’s not just the face of Jackrabbit basketball, for some people he’s all they know about the entire state. That’s a tough role for a 21 year old kid, and he flourishes in that role. Locally, he signs countless autographs and poses for countless pictures with fans of all ages, on and off campus, and he always does it with a smile and never complains. Along with that teamwork, Wolters attends all team functions, to include team outings and community service projects. He doesn’t see himself above anybody else on the team, he sees himself as one equal part of the team, no more and no less.


Wolters is an active participant in numerous community service projects, including: visiting schools and retirement homes in and around Brookings, S.D. and reading to local elementary school kids. He is an active member of the SAAC and in the service projects they sponsor. Wolters volunteers at Harvest Table, an organization that provides free meals at no cost and he volunteers in the SDSU “Kids Zone” during football tailgating. He also volunteered to help sandbag during the floods in Pierre, S.D. and washed the feet of kids and put new shoes and socks on them as part of a Samaritan’s Feet project. He speaks at local high schools, volunteers at the annual “Fast Break Clinic”, a free basketball clinic for kids and helps assemble and load solar ovens and food for shipping to Haiti . He worked with the Flandreau Indian School Success Academy, which is an early and intensive college preparatory program for Native American high school students.


Wolters is on pace to set the South Dakota State career scoring record and become the first 2,000 point scorer in school history. He is also on pace to set the career assists record at South Dakota State. He set the sophomore scoring record by 70 points and also shattered the junior scoring record by 88 points. He was named to the league all-newcomer team as a freshman and all-league first team as a sophomore and junior. He was named MVP of The Summit League Championships in 2012 and was a 2012 AP All-American honorable mention, an NABC all-district selection in 2011 and 2012. He earned numerous other all-league teams from a variety of media outlets in 2012. He is an eight-time Summit League Player of the Week. He is the only player in NCAA Division I with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in 2011-12. He scored in double figures in all 34 games as a junior, with 12 20-point games and six 30-point games. He hit the national scene after a 92-73 win at Washington when he scored 34 points, with 5 rebounds, 7 assists and no turnovers.