April 12, 2004
I sat down with Saint Joseph's star guard and national player of the year Jameer Nelson when I was at the Final Four. We talked about his chances in the NBA.
There are skeptics out there who say he's too small. The critics point out negatives about his game.
Forget about the critics. All of his life, Nelson has been told he's too small, yet right from the start of his playing career he has proven people wrong. Nelson was a star on the high school level and then in college with the Hawks.
|Guard Jameer Nelson averaged 20.6 ppg and 5.3 apg during the regular season for Saint Joseph's.|
He did a brilliant job with St. Joe's this season throughout their magical campaign. Nelson and Co. posted an unbeaten regular season and made it all the way to the Elite Eight -- something fans at Kentucky, Stanford and North Carolina couldn't boast about. St. Joe's fell just three points short of making the Final Four.
You can count on this: Jameer Nelson will be on an NBA roster. He will not only make a team but also be a factor. On the offensive end, he's absolutely dynamite. He's an outstanding long-distance shooter, and his tremendous passing skills won't be overlooked at the next level.
The pro game has changed and Nelson's ball-handling skills make him a legitimate pro prospect. I wish him all the best, because he's a classy young man whose enthusiasm is infectious. Nelson is a leader, and he will be a definite asset to the NBA team that drafts him.
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit in the 1970s before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979 (he's been an ESPN analyst ever since). Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.