RECRUITING: Iowa State adds former UNI guard Nate Heise

Nov 22, 2023; Paradise Island, BAHAMAS; Northern Iowa Panthers guard Nate Heise (0) reacts with the bench during the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Imperial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State men’s basketball has added former UNI Panther guard Nate Heise in its second transfer portal addition of the off-season.

The Lake City, Minn. native was on campus for a visit Monday afternoon, and said the biggest selling point to him was the program’s culture.

“After visiting this weekend, I learned about the town and the facilities,” Heise said. “The biggest thing is just the culture. I’d say in the culture that they’ve established there and the way they go about things is special. I felt like it was unique and provided kind of a different way of how they go about their daily life.”

Heise was the Panthers’ leading scorer last season, averaging 13.5 points per game and adding 6.5 rebounds per game.

The 6-foot-5 transfer played all four of his seasons of college ball in Cedar Falls, sitting out the 2022-23 season with a finger injury before getting back on the court this year.

“Obviously, I’ve been (at UNI) for four years and it’s been a great experience,” Heise said. “All the coaches and teammates I’ve had, I couldn’t have asked really for anything more. It was a difficult decision and conversation that I had with all the coaches and that was hard, but I think that I know that was the right decision.”

Now, he’ll reunite with former UNI coaches Kyle Green and Erik Crawford in Ames.

“Obviously at first it helped having that previous connection with Coach Green and Coach Crawford,” Heise said. “Then over the last week or two, I’ve talked to (Coach T.J. Otzelberger) and the staff almost on a daily basis and learned a lot about their program.”

Heise has two years of eligibility remaining in his career.

“The last two weeks, it just felt like a perfect fit,” Heise said.