Athlete of the Week: Longmeadow’s Omar Natour
LONGMEADOW, Mass. — When love for sports is developed at a young age, it often is a result of the stars on television. Omar Natour’s case was a little different. It took some persuasion from his little brother to get Longmeadow’s backstop on the ice.
“I’d skate with him just so he’d have company and I ended up liking it myself,” Natour said, “Originally why I didn’t like it so much was the skating but once I figured out how to get my balance going, I started liking it.”
Fast-forward years ahead from third grade, Natour’s love for the game evolved save-by-save playing in the backyard with his brother, something he established the day he put on the pads.
“After school almost everyday we go around in our backyard and just shoot pucks and pass,” Natour said, “I was always the goalie and by the end of the year in Learn to Skate, I had my first pair of pads, so I was always a goalie.”
“He’s matured quite a bit. He’s gotten better in school and cares about others a lot,” said head coach Jim Joyce, “He enjoys practice. He enjoys competing with the shooters every practice so he’s really come a long way.”
As a coach you love to see exactly that; growth and maturity in your seniors. One character-defining story resonates with Joyce.
“One time this year he had a shutout. We pulled him in third period because we wanted to give another senior goalie (a chance). He was excited for him to come in,” Joyce said, “He cares about his teammate who practices here everyday and works hard. He just certainly doesn’t get as much time as Omar. He was happy the two times he’s come in this year and that’s the type of player he is.”
And that’s exactly what he wants to be defined by; working hard and setting an example.
“I’m always just playing for fun. That’s why I’m here because everyday I come to practice I enjoy making saves,” Natour said.
When you’re the older brother, you know you have to sometimes unwillingly deal with your younger sibling’s enthusiasm. In Natour’s case, it certainly seems to have paid off.