Family: Parents, Kevin and Brenda Rook; sister, Ashley (17).
Hobbies: Playing sports and collecting logo golf balls with his grandpa. It's kind of a fun thing that we do together.
Favorite athlete: Justin Kline. He's always been a great leader to me. He's always been able to help me with all my sports.
Best baseball advice ever received: Swing hard just in case you hit it.
Most memorable athletic accomplishment: Probably winning the Great Four State Pacesetter Basketball Tournament at the Target Center. A traveling team from Aberdeen won the tourney against teams from Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. The squad will compete in the event again next month.
BY DAVE VILHAUER
Whether hitting line drives on the baseball diamond, clutch shots on the basketball court or solid strokes on the golf course, Nathan Rook finds a way to make a difference.
The 13-year-old Aberdeen athlete loves to compete and lives for the big moment. In the past week, Rook helped lead his traveling basketball team to the championship in a tournament in Sioux Falls and was named the Most Valuable Player during the B League All-Star baseball game. For his efforts, Rook is this week's American News Athlete of the Week.
Rook has been a batboy for past All-Star baseball games, but this year found himself at the center of attention as a starting pitcher.
I can't say I was nervous, because I faced all the guys before, Rook said. I felt like it was an honor to be the starting pitcher, since there's a lot of kids older than I am.
Rook tossed three shutout innings with three strikeouts before moving behind the plate to catch later in the game.
It got really hot behind there, Rook said of donning the catcher's gear, but it makes it feel like you're in control of the game.
Rook also had a hit and scored a pair of runs during the 9-0 victory for the South squad.
Rook normally bats leadoff and said he always takes the first pitch no matter where the location is.
Make the pitchers throw it to you. Don't ever hit the first pitch, Rook said.
Rook may be best known for his basketball ability. Playing the point-guard position, he helped lead his traveling team to a championship in the prestigious Great Four State Pacesetter tourney at the Target Center in Minneapolis last year. The team will compete in the event again in August. So far this summer, Rook has played basketball in Lincoln, Neb., Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls with a trip to Omaha, Neb., coming up.
He also has participated in a junior golf tour in years past and tries to get in several rounds of golf each week, in addition to attending an agility camp each morning.
With such a busy schedule, one might think Rook would be anxious for school to start just for an opportunity to slow down.
I'd much rather be in sports than school, Rook assured.
While the various sports all involve a different skill set, Rook noted that they all have one thing in common.
There's one thing that really helps with all sports: being strong, he said.
Rook routinely lifts weights to help build his strength.
While Rook knows that his teammates look to him to produce in pressure situations, he likes that challenge and more times than not, is up to the challenge.
The only time that I ever get nervous is maybe before the game, he said, but once I'm on the court, I just get relaxed and just play.