NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) -Nathan Bain should forever be known as ‘Nate the Giant Slayer’.
The SFA senior hit a runaway game winning layup inside Cameron Indoor Stadium that gave the 28 point underdog SFA Lumberjacks their first win ever against an AP No.1 team with an 85-83 victory over Duke.
“My thought was to run as fast as I can and put it in the hole so we could get out of here,” Bain said. “It was a feeling of disbelief. I didn’t know if I got it up in time. I didn’t look at the rim. I saw my teammates coming to me and I was like, ‘We won the game!’”
Outside of being part of the NCAA Tournament team two years ago, Bain said the win over Duke has to be the biggest thing in his basketball career. Bain not only wanted to win the game for the SFA fanbase. He wanted to win the game for the Bahamas, his home country.
On August 24, Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas and became stationary over the island for more than 24 hours. Bain had already returned to Nacogdoches for the beginning of SFA practice. His father, mother and siblings were back home in Freeport. It seemed okay at first but the longer the storm stayed the worse it got for the Bain family and many of his friends. Dorian would go down as the most intense hurricane on record to hit the island, and is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history.
Bain’s famiy lost their home and pretty much everything they owned. His father was a minister and their church was a total loss. His parents also ran a school for children in the Freeport area. The school took on major damage. As much as Bain wanted to go back home his family insisted he finish school. The 6′6′' senior forward stayed and had dedicated this season to the Bahamas and raising awareness for what is going on there.
“There is a lot going on back home right now,” Bain said. “When you are doing somebody else you put a little more effort into it. I had my whole team behind me. We have great seniors and great leaders. It was a team win. Everybody had a part in this historic night for SFA.”
It was historic because SFA had never beat an AP No.1 team. The Southland Conference had a 22 game losing streak against top 5 teams and were 0-10 against No.1 teams.
“We made history for Stephen F. Austin" SFA Head Coach Kyle Keller said. "We’re now 1-0 against the team that’s ranked No. 1 in the country in the AP poll. We’re a one-bid league, ask me on Selection Sunday if it means anything. I’m sure Coach K will get after his team tomorrow and they probably won’t have a good Thanksgiving because of this, but it will make their team a lot better. We need to remain humble because we only get one bid into the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully, this will give our league some national respect because of how good our league is.”
Minus a deep run in the NCAA National Tournament, this win will easily be the biggest in the history of the SFA program. It is hard to argue for a better person to have hit the winning shot.
“He has had so much adversity in his life,” Keller said. “His family has been through so much adversity. If anyone deserved it he did. You dream about that as a kid and he was able to experience that.”
After the storm a GoFundMe was set up to help the Bain family. The page has seen increased traffic since the game winning shot. The information is here.