Athlete to published author: Nate McGhee
By Khalem Caldwell
Growing up as an African American male poses challenges and situations many males of other races and ethnicities won’t have to face. PBS reports only 54% of African Americans graduate from high school, compared to more than 75% of their Caucasian and Asian American peers. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), reports that black males ages 18 and older make up just 5.5% of all college students. Of the young black males who do make it to college, only one in six will receive a college degree.
Nate McGhee, a St. Louis product and a current student athlete at Quincy University, is currently changing and challenging the current narrative of young African American men. McGhee grew up having both parents to support him, guide him and teach him their understanding of the world.
The first major lesson of McGhee’s life came when he swapped schools. From first to sixth grade, McGhee attended a predominantly black elementary school. Entering middle school and high school he transitioned to Chaminade College Preparatory School, in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
McGhee credits this transition to completely changing his life, and outlook on the world, as Chaminade is a private independent Roman Catholic boarding school, accommodating only boys. Chaminade is also 83% White, and only 6% Black.
“I was very appreciative that I went,” McGhee said. “We don’t live in an all white world, and we don’t live in an all black world.”
People tend to feel comfortable in familiar places, seeing familiar faces. However it was this uncomfortable change that saw McGhee take initiative.
In June of 2019, McGhee published a book titled: #Dominate, A Playbook for Life for Young Athletes. Since being published it has sold nearly 2,000 copies.
It took McGhee a year and a few months to complete his book. The book is a compilation of notes, inspirational quotes, poems, and stories from McGhee and other contributing authors.
“I wrote this book because I felt that with the knowledge that I have, I must take firm initiative to the younger generation,” McGhee said. “Younger males and athletes need to know they too have informal mentors around in their lives.”
McGhee is also a big fan of preaching of not letting the past get in the way of your future. Understanding that people are constantly evolving and that change is inevitable, is a notion McGhee tries to get the youth to understand.
Jovani Garriques is a peer and teammate of McGhee, and is one of many inspired by his book.
“The book is well thought out,” Garriques said. “Nate is a great teammate and is destined for big things.
The cover of the book was inspired by McGhee’s passion for football, showing where it all began. McGhee wanted to show young men that they are who they are from when they were younger, however, it depends on the decisions you make as you grow older which shape you as a young man.
McGhee is open to writing other books, however, he is taking his time in college to further his education and focus on accomplishments he would like to make in football.