Nate Britt looked at North Carolina’s impressive history of talented point guards and decided to become the next in line.
On Tuesday night, the 6-foot-1 junior lead guard from Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga announced a verbal pledge to North Carolina, signaling the end of his college recruitment.
“I was a fan growing up watching Carolina,” Britt told Scout.com in an exclusive interview.
“Raymond Felton, Tywon Lawson, Phil Ford, Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith, I’ve watched all of them,” he said. “They pretty much have had a history of very good point guards that run a team.”
But that was far from the only reason Britt opted for the Tar Heels. Roy Williams prioritized getting Britt, a five-star prospect, this year and the two developed a special bond.
“Pretty much it came down to my relationship with Coach Williams,” Britt said. “Over time we have talked a lot and the things that we talked about, we had a great connection. I think that’s what initially started me wanting to be a Tar Heel.”
When did Britt come to his college decision?
“I would say it was after having a lot of conversations with Coach Williams,” he said. “That’s when I pretty much felt like that’s where I needed to be.
“After visiting the campus and seeing how the campus was and how the team was, I felt at home with them. But what really initiated it was when my relationship with Coach Williams got stronger.”
Prior to UNC recruiting Britt, there was a connection to the program. Carolina’s sophomore point guard, Kendall Marshall, and Britt have known each other for years and that made it easier for him to get to know the program.
“It started with Kendall before he even went to college or high school,” Britt said. “We’ve always had a relationship. So I always had someone there that I already knew. The other guys were very open and welcome.”
“With me getting a chance to play with them, they were able to see my game and what I can bring to the table if I ever went there. I think the whole team was real friendly and I just felt at home with them when I was with them.”
North Carolina's style of play was also a factor.
“They play an up-tempo, up and down game and they like to run whenever they get the chance on made baskets and missed baskets,” Britt pointed out. “I think that pretty much fits me perfectly.”
Regarded as the No. 18 prospect in the 2013 class, Britt is creator on the court but also a guard that has developed his overall game. Gonzaga coach Steve Turner said his selfless attitude stands out.
“He’s so unselfish and that’s why he has the ability to make others around him better,” Turner said. “He now has developed the killer instinct that allows him to take over games.”
Point guards are expected to be leaders on the court and Turner said Britt fits that mold.
“He’s a great extension on the court,” the Gonzaga coach said. “He lets guys know where they have to be and he always makes guys around him better.”
Britt picked North Carolina over strong interest from Maryland, Villanova, Arizona and Georgetown. He is the second commitment for UNC in the junior class, joining power forward Isaiah Hicks.
Britt and Hicks are the only two prospects ranked in the Top 20 in Scout.com’s 2013 rankings to have chosen a college.
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