|No. 31, 10, 35, 41|
January 14, 1950 |
Den Helder, North Holland, Netherlands
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (211 cm)|
|Listed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|High school||Wilson (Long Beach, California)|
|College||Cypress JC (1968–1970)
|NBA draft||1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 16th overall|
|Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks|
|Pro playing career||1973–1985|
|1973||Virginia Squires (ABA)|
|1973–1975||San Antonio Spurs (ABA)|
|1975–1976||New York Nets (ABA)|
|1976||Virginia Squires (ABA)|
|1977–1983||Buffalo Braves / San Diego Clippers|
|1983–1984||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career ABA and NBA statistics|
|Points||8,980 (12.4 ppg)|
|Rebounds||8,340 (11.6 rpg)|
|Assists||1,235 (1.7 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Swen Eric Nater (born January 14, 1950) is a retired Dutch professional basketball player, primarily in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). He is the only player to have led both the NBA and ABA in rebounding. Nater was a two-time ABA All-Star and was the 1974 ABA Rookie of the Year. He played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins, winning two National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles.
Swen Nater was born in the Netherlands, but his parents divorced when he was three years old. When his mother remarried and the family's economic situation deteriorated. she, her husband, and Swen's younger brother moved to the United States, leaving Swen and his sister in an orphanage. After three years it appeared they would remain in the Netherlands until a television show, It Could Be You (a forerunner to This Is Your Life, discovered the situation and brought the two siblings to America to be reunited -- on TV -- with the rest of the family. At age nine, he was in a new country and didn't speak a word of English.
Nater attended and played basketball at Cypress College, a junior college in Cypress, California (where he met his wife, Marlene). He played little as a freshman, but was a Community College All-American as a sophomore. He earned a scholarship to UCLA, and reshirted his first year.
Nater was drafted by The Floridians in the 1972 ABA Draft, and then by the Virginia Squires in the June 1972 ABA dispersal draft after the Floridians' demise. Nater was also drafted in the first round of the 1973 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, but in August 1973 he opted to sign with the Squires. On November 21, 1973 the Squires traded Nater to the San Antonio Spurs for a draft pick and $300,000.
With the Spurs, Nater was the American Basketball Association Rookie of the Year and  and led the ABA in field goal percentage in 1974. He led the ABA in rebounding in 1975. He was named to the All-ABA Second Team in 1974 and 1975, and participated in the ABA All-Star Game both seasons. During his three seasons in the ABA, Nater played for the Spurs, Squires, and the New York Nets.
Nater's NBA career began with the Milwaukee Bucks, and he was traded after one season to the Buffalo Braves. When the Braves played in San Diego, Nater became a local favorite. Nater led the NBA in rebounding average during the 1979-80 season, making him the only player ever to lead both the NBA and ABA in rebounding.
Before the 1983-84 season, Nater was traded by the Clippers along with a just-drafted Byron Scott to the Los Angeles Lakers for Norm Nixon, Eddie Jordan, and a 1986 second-round draft pick (which would eventually be dealt to the Phoenix Suns and become Jeff Hornacek). Nater and Scott helped lead the Lakers to the NBA Finals that year, after which Nater retired as a player.
After the NBA
Nater has also co-authored books with legendary basketball coaches Wooden and Pete Newell.
- Wooden, John; Nater, Swen (2006). John Wooden's UCLA Offense. Human Kinetics. ISBN 9780736061803.
- Newell, Pete; Nater, Swen (2007). Pete Newell's Playing Big. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. ISBN 9780736068093.
- List of National Basketball Association season rebounding leaders
- List of National Basketball Association players with most rebounds in a game
- Dan Raley, Where Are They Now?, Seattle Post Intelligencer, January 9, 2008
- Hartman, Steve; Smith, Matt (2009). The Great Book of Los Angeles Sports Lists. Running Press. p. 200. ISBN 9780786748877. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- BasketballReference.com Swen Nater page
- RememberTheABA.com Virginia Squires detailed year by year notes page
- Broussard, Chris (January 11, 2004). "THEN AND NOW -- Swen Nater; Big Man Loved the Game, Then Learned to Play It". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com