By Eoin Whelan, Contributor
On Oct. 28, former star Jasper guard Anthony Nelson, was drafted with the 24th pick in the first round of the NBA G League draft to the Delaware Blue Coats. On Nov. 6 he was waived and was listed as an unrestricted free agent. Nelson averaged 13.15 points per game during his time here at Manhattan College and reached 1,162 career points in the NCAA.
The G-League is the minor league organization of the National Basketball Association (NBA). This league gives players and coaches the opportunity to prepare themselves for the NBA.
“It was a pleasure coaching Anthony,” assistant coach Doran said. “I’ve known Anthony for a very long time … to see him mature as a player from middle school up to this point [was very] good … seeing him getting acclimated to the college and picking up that pace.”
Now being at a professional level, Nelson has a lot of goods to bring to the table.
“As an older player, he can bring his experience, his knowledge of the game, his ability to get to the basket and make others better around him,” Doran said.
Nelson’s former teammates are very excited for him and are extremely proud of the work he is putting in to be a professional.
“I had a very close relationship with Anthony … he was a little older and had more experience, so he brought professionalism to the practices… and he took a bunch of us under his wing and taught us a lot of stuff,” says former teammate Daniel Hackett. “[Nelson] definitely brought mentorship … he would always be there for us… and taught me a lot of things in life too.”
A lot of players would say Nelson meant a lot to the team; he was more than just a teammate. Nelson always wanted to make sure everyone had uplifted, good spirits.
“He always made sure that basketball was fun, which it should be,” Logan Padgett said. “When it is you do better, and he brought that presence to the locker room,” says former teammate Logan Padgett.
Former teammates Hackett and Padgett were both younger guards who admired Nelson. “I admired his ability to get to the basket, his handle, and how he was always locked in on defense,” Padgett said.
“He got better as the game went on… he was always locked in at the end,” Hacket said.
“What Ant had that a lot of guards don’t have is that killer mentality,” Padgett said. “Go finish the game – At Quinnipiac, hits the game-winner, at the end of the game he’s locked in,”.
Nelson has worked relentlessly to be in the position that he is in now and it has rubbed off on his former team. Nothing he did went unnoticed, and it’s widely known how much of a hard worker he is. He had the goal of being a professional since day one and is continuing to work for it.
Nelson was such a special player; his teammates are proud to say he even created the Jose Alvarado steal. “You can call it the Ant Nelson steal,” Hackett said.