When Nathan Ring was five years old, his family moved from Mobile to Cullman County. It worked out well, both for Ring and Fairview High, which eventually gained a basketball star.

“Basketball wasn't my thing (in Mobile),” Ring said. “I loved to play baseball and football but rarely even shot a basketball.

“After we moved up here, I got a lot more interested in basketball.”

He liked the game enough that he joined his first organized league as a third-grader. At the time, he was tall for his age and was put in the post. But by the time the next season rolled around, a lot of his classmates had caught up to him in size, so he started playing point guard – a spot he learned to love.

“I've been at point guard ever since,” he said. “I've played a little shooting guard, but point is my natural position.”

Ring has excelled enough at point guard that he scored his 1,000th point earlier this season. His Aggies have amassed a 13-6 record so far and they are in prime position to win their regular season area title — with one area game left, Fairview has a 4-1 record.

“Bottom line is that Nathan just loves the game,” Aggies coach Greg Boatright said. “He's been a starter for us for three years and was a good contributor as a 10th grader.”

In this, Ring’s senior season, he has averaged 15.6 points, 5.24 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.

“Nathan excels in all phases of the game,” Boatright said. “And he practices just as hard as he plays. When he’s on the court, you never see him slacking, no matter the circumstances.

“He plays as hard if we're down 20 or up 20 as if it’s a tie game.”

Boatright points to Ring’s understanding of Fairview’s system as his strongest point.

“I stress to him to especially concentrate on the offense in the first half, because their backs are to me and he’s kind of a coach on the court.,” Boatright said. “In the second half, when the offense is in front of me, he can think more about defense. But he always knows what’s happening on the court — on offense and defense.”

Ring attributes some of his talent to playing against former Fairview star Kody Butts, The Times Player of the Year in 2008.

“When I was a freshman, he was a senior and taught me a lot,” Ring said. “We still play one-on-one a lot and playing him is always a challenge and makes me learn new ways to get around someone.”

Stan Veitch can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at stanv@cullmantimes.com.

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