Runnin’ Rebel Mike Nuga shares his game day routine

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Mike Nuga shooting a three-pointer during the Runnin' Rebels rivalry red out game against Nevada. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

Before Mike Nuga hits the court as one of the starting guards for the Runnin’ Rebels, there’s two things he must do: talk to his parents and fold his socks. 

On game days, it all starts with reading a chapter in a book that gets Nuga into his routine. 

“I wake up in the morning and read a chapter in my book,” Nuga said. “Right now I’m reading Atomic Habits, really good. I recommend it to anybody.”

After reading a chapter, Nuga will write a little bit before calling his mom, dad, and brother separately.

“I brush my teeth, all that stuff, of course,” Nuga said. “Hygiene, hygiene.”

Around noon, he’ll then head to the Runnin’ Rebels practice facility, Mendenhall, to get shots in and a workout before heading back to his place. 

Before heading out to the arena two hours before tip-off, Nuga will grab some food with his roommates and fellow Runnin’ Rebels teammates. 

“Donovan [Williams] is a big Angry Chicks guy, Royce [Hamm] is a big Angry Chicks guy too,” Nuga said. “Josh Baker really likes Five Guys. I know everyones order from the places. I’m like a Subway, chicken wing kind of guy.”

While he eats, Nuga will make another phone call to his parents. 

“I call my mom again and call my dad again,” Nuga said. “My parents always usually give me a little cheer up before the game.”

Mike Nuga about to pass the ball during the Runnin’ Rebels against Colorado State in Fort Collins. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

With two hours before the start of the game, he will go through individual guard drills before transitioning into team drills that lead all the way up to the start of the game. 

Despite hanging out with his roommates most of the time, Nuga listens to Drake before a game while they all mostly listen to NBA Youngboy. 

“It’s weird, slow Drake gets me going. You know Marvins Room, I listen to a lot of Feel No Ways, 7am on Bridle Path, smooth vibes.”

Many of the guys on the team have game day superstitions, for Nuga, “I have to fold my socks to play basketball. I always have to fold them, I can’t just leave them.”

After listening to some Drake and making sure his socks are folded, Nuga goes out to start for the Runnin’ Rebels, where this season he’s averaged 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 21 minutes played a game. 

“After the game I always hang out with my roommates,” Nuga said. “Bake [Josh Baker], Donovan, Royce, and usually Bryce [Hamilton], they all come to the house. We eat and chill, and play Call of Duty, 1000%. We play a lot of Call of Duty.”

Before going to bed for the night, Nuga will read another chapter of his book before watching some T.V. 

“Right now I’m watching Snowfall, fantastic, fantastic,” Nuga said. 

With only two home games left of the season before the Mountain West Tournament, make sure to come catch Mike Nuga and the Runnin’ Rebels tonight against Boise State, tip-off is set for 7 p.m. 

For the last home game of the season UNLV will face Wyoming on Wednesday, Mar. 2, tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Students can get their tickets for free at unlvtickets.com.

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