CHICAGO (CBS) — Fred Hoiberg has become the new face of the Bulls after taking over the head coaching reins from Tom Thibodeau, but as CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke explains, someone else on Hoiberg’s staff — who you’ve probably never seen — is having quite the impact on the players as well.
“One day after practice I shot a left-handed lay up and I didn’t say anything — I just did it, I just winked at (Derrick Rose) after and he said, ‘OK, I see you,’” said Nate Loenser, the Bulls’ video coordinator.
Loenser surprised Rose with that move. Why? Loenser was born with a partial left arm, but that’s never slowed him down.
“I’m lucky, I’m fortunate,” Loenser said. “I have two great legs, one arm that I can do anything with, and I just make the most of the tools that have been given to me.”
A Cedar Falls, Iowa, native, Loenser played basketball, baseball, football and golf in high school — earning 11 varsity letters. He stopped using a prostethic because he didn’t want to be dependent on anything. He went on to play baseball at Iowa State.
“Instead of moping or pointing a finger and making excuses. I’ve never been that kind of person,” Loenser says. “I’ve always had the strength in my mind to not play like a one-armed player, not be a one-armed basketball player. Just to be Nate.”
Now, Loenser works on opponent scouting for the Bulls and helps Hoiberg with game plans. He was previously on Hoiberg’s staff at Iowa State as well.
“Everything he’s accomplished in life is because of his work ethic,” Hoiberg said. “He’s the first guy in the office. He’s the last to leave. He’s a guy I’ve leaned on a lot.”
“How many people get to come to work with their favorite boss in their favorite town and for their favorite team?” Loenser adds. “(It’s) pretty cool deal and just fortunate to be here.”
Now a father of a four-month daughter, Loenser hopes to teach her about overcoming obstacles as well as others.
“Handling adversity is a daily chore for everybody,” Loenser says. “If you stay with it and you try to stay positive and work hard, I think in the end things work out. We all have our story. We all have our ups and downs. I just try to make the most of who I am.”