20 Nate Clay
20 Nate Clay
City: Breeze
State: Illinois
High School: Central High School
Team: Blue Devils Basketball, Baseball and Tennis

Nate Clay was a 1958 graduate of Central High School where he was a three sport standout playing basketball, football and running track.  Nate turned down a football scholarship to Southern Illinois University - Carbondale because he wanted to play basketball.

Nate chose to play basketball for Coach Chuck Mundell at Centralia Junior College, now Kaskaskia College.  Nate was an outstanding basketball player demonstrated by his selection for All-Conference Honors. Nate also played baseball and tennis when a player was needed.

From Centralia Junior College, Nate went to McKendree College, now McKendree University, and played basketball under Coach James Oldfield, a former Centralian.

Nate left after his first season to work for Ford Motor Co. in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A few years later, Nate returned to McKendree and captained the basketball team for first year coach, Harry Statham.  Nate graduated from McKendree in 1967.  

The Blue Devils Basketball Defensive Award is named after Nate Clay and in 1979, McKendree College established the Nate Clay Award which is presented annually to the basketball player showing courage, determination and who serves as an inspiration to others.

In the 1970’s and early 80’s, Nate hosted a sports talk show and provided sports reports for the local radio station WILY/WRXX.  Nate also coached girl’s softball for four years and coached a co-ed team for another four years.  Nate never had a losing season.

Nate published his life story, The Nate Clay Story, in 1977 and he also writes poetry.  His poem, “THIS MOMENT ” was published in the collection, Today’s Greatest Poems

Nate passed away on July 3, 2001 and was inducted posthumously into the McKendree Sports Hall Fame in 2004.