Nate Heise makes Iowa State his choice after hitting portal

Apr. 2—AMES, Iowa. — Nate Heise has found a new college basketball home.

Heise, a former Lake City High School and then University of Northern Iowa standout, announced Tuesday that he will play next season for Iowa State University.

The 6-foot-5 junior guard put himself in the transfer portal following this season, his fourth at UNI.

This past season had been Heise's best to date. He started all 32 games for the Panthers and was named third-team All-Missouri Valley League after averaging 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. All were career highs for Heise, who scored 2,307 points at Lake City.

Heise played in only two games in 2022-23 after injuring his hand.

Heise is the second transfer to commit to Iowa State this off-season, 6-foot-11 center Dishon Jackson the other. Jackson will come to Iowa State from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

ISU has lost four 2023-24 players to the portal, all of them reserves.

Iowa State finished 29-8 this season and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament where it fell 72-69 to No. 10 Illinois. The Cyclones are coached by T.J. Otzelberger, who led South Dakota State to the NCAA Tournament twice in his three seasons as head coach there, from 2016-19. He then was UNLV's head coach for two seasons, before landing at Iowa State.

Northern Iowa closed its season 19-14 and lost to Indiana State University in the second round of the Missouri Valley League post-season tournament.

Heise was an efficient shooter this season, hitting at 46% from the field overall and 36% from 3-point distance.

"Obviously, I've been (at UNI) for four years and it's been a great experience," Heise told

. "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."

Minnesota also figured to be a strong candidate to land Heise. The Gophers have lost five players to the transfer portal and Heise's sister, Taylor Heise, is a former superstar women's hockey player there.