By amassing eight 3-pointers in a recent contest, Derek Nordale etched his name into the Mercer Island High School (MIHS) boys basketball record book with the highest single-game amount.
Nordale, a senior 6-foot-3 shooting guard, had the hot hand during a 74-47 win over Juanita in the 3A KingCo Tournament on Feb. 4 at Lake Washington High.
The previous MIHS boys single-game record of seven treys was shared by the foursome of Charlie Barokas (1991), Terik Brown (1995), Kaleb Warner (2013) and Tyler Butson (2020).
“It was a lifetime goal. I was looking at that record before the season and I thought I could break it,” said Nordale, who nailed six treys in a game against Kentlake this season and poured in six or seven in an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) contest. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been shooting a lot of threes. My brothers were big 3-point shooters, so I kind of just followed all their steps.”
Nordale noted that he switched up his pregame routine against Juanita by practicing a ton more threes. The confident shooter received solid set-ups in ideal spots from his teammates in the magical game and they took what the Juanita defense offered them.
His two older brothers and former MIHS players Nick and Sam are proud of his accomplishment and he credits them for getting him started on his basketball journey.
“They dragged me out to the driveway shooting hoops with them when I was, like, 4 or 5. But I started taking it seriously in, like, third or fourth grade. That’s when I started playing every day and being super committed to it,” Nordale said.
The Reporter asked Nordale a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s a pet peeve of yours?
It’s got to be a tie between interrupting me when I’m talking, or chewing with your mouth open is a big one.
What’s a skill that you’d like to learn?
I want to learn how to play the piano.
What’s something that maybe you’re afraid of, that you’d like to conquer?
I want to go skydiving one day, but I got to build up some courage before I do that.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Probably my brother Sam. He lives in New York. I don’t get to see him too often.
What’s the best piece of advice that you would give someone just coming into the basketball program there?
Playing in this program, there’s a lot of pressure and a lot of standards you have to meet, but if you just take it one day at a time and try to be the best version of yourself, you’re more likely to be successful instead of worrying about things that are outside of your control.