After an historic senior season in which he averaged 20.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, William & Mary alum Nathan Knight wasted no time in signing with the Atlanta Hawks as an undrafted free agent this past year.
And despite a wild season where the Hawks bottomed out & changed coaches in the midway through, Atlanta quickly rebounded to grab the #4-seed in the East. Throughout the year, Knight saw action in 33 of the Hawks’ regular season games, including two playoff games to date (and counting).
In so doing, he becomes the first William & Mary alum to play in the NBA during the modern era. Let that sink in. And remember how many greats have passed through Kaplan Arena in recent years. Knight is in a league of his own.
So what exactly has Nathan been up to since graduating from that esteemed College in Williamsburg? Funny you should ask! We have the details here.
Nathan Knight’s NBA Season in Review
Nathan Knight became just the third player in W&M history to play in an NBA game, and the first since Brant Weidner, who played back in 1983. As mentioned, Knight saw the court in 33 NBA games, averaging 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds & 8.5 minutes of playing time.
Nathan certainly flashed moments of brilliance (which we will highlight below), making a name for himself in his first season with the Hawks. We’re not sure anyone, including the Hawks, thought Knight would make the impact that he did this season. Let’s break down a few of his best performances with what we all know you’re waiting for: video highlights.
December 26, 2020 at Memphis: Knight’s Coming Out Party
‘Twas the day after Christmas, and not a creature was stirring…except a superhuman named Nathan Knight. Yes indeed, Knight gifted W&M fans a late Christmas present this past December 26th. It was only his second appearance of the season, and suffice to say, he took full advantage. In just 9 minutes of playing time, Knight posted 14 points on 4/5 shooting, including 2/3 from the 3 point line. He also added 3 rebounds. Even NBA phenom Trae Young had something to say in his postgame interview about Nathan’s performance.
March 14, 2021 vs. Cleveland: Nathan Knight Stuffs the Stat Sheet
Over certain segments of the season, the Hawks were decimated with injuries. But it was during these times that Knight was given increased opportunity to play — and he did not disappoint. In a game against Cleveland, Nate logged his second-highest minute total of the season, with 23 minutes against the Cavaliers.
In this performance, he showed exactly what he is capable of as an NBA player, stacking the stat sheet with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal. In fact, he finished just one rebound away from a double-double; after the game, he again earned high praise from his coach and teammates.
March 16, 2021 vs. Houston: Nathan Knight Delivers (Again)
With the Hawks again decimated with injuries, Knight received another chance to prove himself — this just two days after his monstrous performance against Cleveland. Logging 22 minutes in a game against the Rockets, Knight delivered, finishing 6/9 from the field with 15 points.
Oh yeah, and he also added 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block. In a matter of three days and just 2 contests, Knight scored 31 points, nabbed 12 rebounds, and garnered 3 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal. If these games didn’t prove Knight worthy of an NBA roster spot, we don’t know what will.
March 31st, 2021: Nathan Knight Earns 6th Man of the Month for the Atlanta Hawks
Yes, you read that correctly. After those two big games in March (where Knight notched 31 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal), he was named the Atlanta Hawks’ 6th Man of the Month. Pretty good for an undrafted rookie out of William & Mary, huh?
May 16, 2021 vs. Houston: Knight Makes History by earning Double-Double
In the Hawks’ final game of the regular season, Knight again made history by becoming the first W&M player in the modern era to record an NBA double-double. In 26 minutes of playing time, Nate scored 13 points on 6/9 shooting, adding 10 rebounds to boot. He also recorded 2 blocks for good measure. With the performance, Knight ended the season with a bang, and again proved to everyone in Atlanta and across that Association that he is certainly worthy of a legitimate roster spot and increased playing time moving forward.
June 8, 2021 vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Round 2 of Postseason): Nathan Knight Gets Postseason Playing Time
Making yet another historic appearance on the court, Nathan Knight became the first W&M player in the NBA’s modern era to notch points during an NBA playoff game. Again, take a moment to appreciate that statement. It was only two points toward the end of a game in which the Hawks came up short, but the historic significance of this achievement for Green and Gold faithful cannot be overstated.
With the series now tied 1-1 and headed to Atlanta, Knight and his Hawks find themselves in the thick of it against the Eastern Conference’s #1-seeded Philadelphia 76ers. Perhaps he’ll see the postseason floor again before it’s all said and done? Stay tuned!
Collection of Highlights
We thought we’d throw in more highlights from Knight’s first season as an Atlanta Hawk — because why not? Sit back and enjoy, Tribe fans. Nathan Knight is here to stay.