PEORIA, Ill. — While Nate Kennell was growing up in Metamora and attending Bradley games as a fan there was one player he was drawn to.
“I wore a Daniel Ruffin jersey to the games, he was one of my favorite players for sure,” Kennell said.
The senior guard’s favorite player is now in Bradley University Athletics Hall of Fame. And Kennell is making his own mark on Bradley basketball.
Never the biggest, strongest or fastest player on the floor, Kennell is a 1,000-point scorer who worked hard to improve every season as a Brave.
“There’s a process. Usually patience is a virtue for a young player. Nate had it. He got better, his role got bigger,” said Bradley coach Brian Wardle. “He improved and his role improved. It’s a great story more young people should follow and model, to be honest.”
Bradley has two regular season games left on the schedule before heading to the Missouri Valley Tournament in St. Louis.
“Opportunities came, I’ve made the most out of them. It’s what you’ve got to do,” Kennell said. “I think of the freshman now, the sophomores. Continue to work hard and know your time is coming.”
And now Kennell is reflecting on a four-year Bradley career that he says has been better than he imagined.
“I think about great memories, my teammates, special guys that came through here,” Kennell said. “No team is the same. I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve built through Bradley.”