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Bittle prepares for basketball's return with trail runs, backyard hoops

Nate Bittle, who was recently named Maxpreps' Oregon State Player of the Year, won't let a closed gym keep him from getting his reps in.

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 5:50 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2020 7:17 PM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — With the weight room and basketball gyms closed, Nate Bittle is still finding a way to compete. Between trail runs and one-on-one basketball in his backyard, he'll be ready when sports come back.

It starts early in the morning, just as the sun starts to peak over Mt. McLoughlin, at the trailhead of Upper Table Rock. From there, Nate and his dad, Ryan, get their workout started with a run to the end of the trail; about 3 miles out and back, gaining 760 feet in elevation on the way to the top.

Just because the scenery is beautiful doesn't mean running uphill for a mile and a half is fun.

"It's kinda cool to see the sunrise and everything, but the run up is horrible," Nate said after his morning run on Monday.

After the run at Upper Table Rock, the Bittles head home to rest their legs and relax. Soon after, they're in the backyard on their concrete half-court.

"It's a little bit different not being able to work out in a gym with a wood floor where I usually play at," Nate said while standing on his backyard court. "I mean, I never play in a backyard, but this is where me and my dad have to get it done."

They run multiple shooting drills, starting from up close under the basket back to high school- and college-level three-pointers. During the drills, Ryan will play defense, contesting Nate's shots near the hoop with physical play.

Ryan is a good coach to have in the house. He played college basketball at Oregon Tech under hall of fame coach Danny Miles in the 1990s. Ryan's backyard coaching has paid off but at the expense of losing most of the one-on-one competitions with Nate.

"The tide has definitely turned. But I try to give him as much competition as I can and be physical with him because the athletes he plays against are way better than I am," Ryan said with a smile. "So just trying to keep... him improving every day."

Both father and son are still fierce competitors when they play one-on-one. In Monday's late-morning showdown, Nate came away with a 5-3 win, calling his step-back jumper before executing it perfectly.

"What I say?" Nate said as he released the shot. Then, as the ball rolled around the rim and fell for game-point, Nate smiles at his dad and says, "I told you what I was doing!"

The fiery father-son competition ends with a smile, a chuckle from Ryan and a fist bump shared.

Nate's ready for basketball to be back.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206777

Reported Deaths: 2754
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40354614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18925235
Lane13896164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001582
Umatilla859387
Linn560380
Yamhill477879
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas387982
Malheur361463
Josephine359872
Benton326422
Jefferson236839
Coos216637
Columbia191929
Union149824
Wasco144330
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121933
Morrow115316
Clatsop10559
Baker101115
Curry70811
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3808258

Reported Deaths: 63335
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124761824454
Riverside3016034627
San Bernardino2992894844
San Diego2817493771
Orange2729225112
Santa Clara1201102188
Kern1107821404
Sacramento1076381731
Fresno1029221724
Alameda895921273
Ventura816381031
San Joaquin746861438
Contra Costa70561813
Stanislaus633871069
Tulare49814849
Monterey43831427
San Mateo42646581
San Francisco37256556
Santa Barbara34596455
Solano33707266
Merced32291478
Sonoma30868317
Imperial28813741
Placer23537299
Kings23189247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16632245
Santa Cruz16235208
Marin14200230
Yolo14156212
Butte12659194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10371116
Napa1002580
Sutter9656113
Yuba648551
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573163
Nevada491075
Humboldt446348
Mendocino432150
Tuolumne420771
Amador373947
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239437
Colusa228418
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14568
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1150
Alpine890
Unassigned330
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