Nate Branch

Allison B. Hudson
Nate Branch, Harlem Globetrotter plays a special song for students at AMIkids on last Wednesday.

Why he’s in the news

Nate Branch, a native of Smoke Bend, returned home last week to visit area schools to offer words of encouragement to all ages.

Branch visited Donaldsonville Primary, Lowery Elementary and Lowery Intermediate, AmiKids, Donaldsonville High School, and St. Amant High School.

Branch also enjoyed a special luncheon at Cup and Saucer on Railroad Ave. on his first day. He spoke to members of the Donaldsonville Rotary Club, and entertained others who just happen to see him walking around town.

About his background

Branch began playing with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1967. He attended Nebraska University and then decided to join the Harlem Globetrotters after just getting married.

“I had to call my wife and let her know, I wouldn’t be coming home for a while,” he recalled.

He has been around the world six different times, and has many memories that stand out for him. He recalled that his starting salary in 1967 was $20,000, which is very different from salaries presently.

Hobbies and other interests

Branch is the musical director at his church in Palo Alto, Calif., where he resides. He plays four instruments, and even gave students at AMIKids a taste of what he can do. Branch wrote a song specifically for kids in Donaldsonville about never giving up and following your dreams. He says he never took music lessons, just was good at being a musician.

In his own words

“My purpose is to inspire to know life can be good. You can always inspire to be better. If I can reach one kid, I have reached my goal to learn all you can at any age,” he says with a smile. “Learn all you can!”

Branch enlightened Rotary members of his fondest memories while playing with the Harlem Globetrotters last Thursday. Pictured is Rotary member Raymond Aucoin, Nate Branch, and Rotary President Chuck Long.
Photos by Allison B. Hudson