Who is Natalie?

Natalie Nakase is a retired American professional basketball player who now holds the player development assistant coach’s position for the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Clippers (NBA). She got positioned as the head coach for both men’s and women’s professional teams after retiring from her professional career. Natalie was the National Women’s Basketball Association’s (NWBL), first-ever Asian-American player playing NWBL for two seasons.

Quick Info
Full NameNatalie Mitsue Nakase
Date Of Birth April 18, 1980
Birth PlaceAnaheim, California, United States
Parent(s)Gary Nakase
Debra Nakese
ProfessionBasketball Player
Age40 years
Height5 ft 2 in
Net WorthUS $1 million

She played as the point guard with the San Jose Spiders in the year 2005 and then with the San Diego Siege in the year 2006. Natalie Nakase started her coaching career after her knee’s unfortunate injury, which required surgery to repair her ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), which led to her retirement as a professional player.

Natalie Nakase


Natalie Mitsue Nakese was born on 18 April 1980 in Anaheim, California, to father Gary Nakase and mother, Debra Nakese. Both of Natalie’s parents are second-generation Japanese-Americans. She has two elder sisters, Norie Nakase and Nicola Nakese. All the three sisters were encouraged to play basketball from a young age by their father, who himself is a huge basketball fan. Besides this, Natalie is currently 40 years old with the zodiac sign of Aries.


Nationality and Physical Stats

Natalie Nakase is a third-generation Japanese-American who holds an American nationality, and she belongs to white ethnicity. She has a fit, and athletic body type is one of the top women basketball players. She stands at the height of 5 feet and 2 inches (1.57m/157cms), weighs around 55kgs (121lbs), and has a pair of dark brown eyes complementing her black hair.



Natalie visited Marina High School, a public high-school situated in Huntington Beach, California, where she played basketball for four years. She had won two league titles for her school. Natalie later attended and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She was a walk-on for the UCLA Bruins Women’s Basketball team because of her fantastic basketball performance.


Personal Life

Natalie Nakase is still single and has preferred to keep her love life private to herself. It is not precise whether or not she is in a relationship.



Natalie Nakase is active on social media platforms, her Instagram account (@natalienakase) has more than 15.5 thousand followers, and her Twitter account (@NatalieNakese) has more than 2.5 thousand followers. Although both of these accounts look legitimate, it has not verified yet.

Natalie Nakase


Early Career

Natalie Nakase was a letterman for her school, playing basketball for over four years. She led the school team towards winning two league titles. The first title was back in 1998 when the team won their first CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) Southern Section title. She scored an average of 13.9 points and 8.6 assists during that season and got titled the Orange County player of the year in 1998 by the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register. She was the Sunset League leader in career assists by the end of that season and set records in career assists, steals, and three-point field goals.


College Career

College basketball programs did not prefer Natalie due to her short height. She enrolled herself in the UCLA Bruins Women’s Basketball team, a walk-on due to her previous basketball career. She played as the point-guard for UCLA, scoring at an average of 4.9 points and 3.7 assists per game. Natalie Nakase scored a career-high average of 7.9 points and 5.1 assists per game to earn herself an honorable mention as an all-conference player in the Pacific-10, a collegiate athletic conference.


Professional Career

Natalie played with the San Jose Spiders in the year 2005 and with the San Diego Siege in the year 2006 for the NWBL. She tried playing for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association but got set aside. She later went on to play in Germany with Herner for a season where she faced a career-ending knee injury.


Coaching Career

After her injury, Natalie decided to coach and abandoned her career as a professional player. Her first coaching experience was with Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). She then coached in the Damen-Basketball Bundesliga’s Wolfenbuttel Wildcats for two seasons. Natalie Nakase became the first-ever female coach in the bj-league, a top men’s basketball league situated in Japan for the Saitama Broncos in the 2011 season.

She then pursued her dreams of being a coach in the NBA by acting as the Agua Caliente Clippers’ assistant coach in the NBA G League from 2017-2018. From the year 2018 till the present day, Natalie serves as the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers’ assistant coach.

Natalie Nakase


Player Achievements

Natalie Nakase got named as the Orange County player of the year in 1998. She was also the Sunset League leader with the most career assists and was a record holder with most career assists, steals, and three-point field goals. In 2002, she got named as the all-conference player in the Pacific-10.


Coach Achievements

Natalie’s head coaching record got set with the Saitama Broncos, where she coached 41 games, with the team finishing tenth in the league. Natalie Nakase also created history to become the first female assistant coach in NBA history.


Net Worth

Natalie Nakase faced a career-ending injury, but it did not stop her from pursuing her dreams, and she achieved her goals by being the first-ever female assistant coach in the NBA. This victory earned her a lot of name and fame as well as fortune. As of 2020, Natalie’s net worth got considered to be around $1 million.