skip navigation

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: For Delaware’s Jameer Nelson Jr., Hard Work Has Paid Off

By Donald Hunt Photos: Kathy Leister & Mike Nance, 02/07/23, 4:30PM EST


The Blue Hen junior, and Haverford School grad, is the second leading scorer in the CAA

PSD Photos: Kathy Leister & Mike Nance

By:  Donald Hunt

PHILADELPHIA –  Jameer Nelson Jr. is proof that hard work and persistence pays off. Nelson, a 6-1, 200-pound redshirt junior guard, has played some great all-around basketball for the University of Delaware this season. The former Haverford School product has showcased his skills at both ends of the floor, but has really been impressive as a shooter.

Jameer Nelson Jr. #0 tied his career best with 30 points when the Blue Hens played Penn on Nov. 27th - PSD Photo by Kathy Leister

He is averaging 19.6 points a game. Nelson is the second leading scorer in the Colonial Athletic Association and reached his 1,000th collegiate career point plateau during a 77-69 victory against Delaware State on Dec. 7. The path to his achievements started last summer.

“I think it’s a testament to the workouts I put in during the summer just focusing on progressing my game,” said Nelson, who is also tallies 3.6 assists and 2.5 steals a game, which leads the Blue Hens. “I worked on a lot of things. I put myself in game situations. I made myself tired in game and got up a lot of shots. The work has been put in. As long as you put the work in it will show. My teammates and coaches allow me to play freely pushing the ball. They’ve been very supportive.”

Nelson is the son of Jameer Nelson, former Chester High, Saint Joseph’s and NBA star. Jameer Nelson was the 2004 national player of the year during his college career with the Hawks. He was a first round pick and played 10 seasons with the Orlando Magic. He played 14 NBA seasons. In addition to the Magic, he played for the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans and the Detroit Pistons. 

He is currently the assistant general manager for the Delaware Blue Coats of the NBA G League, which are affiliated with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Nelson Jr., who was a Second Team All-CAA selection in 2021-22, credits his father for most of his success in basketball.

“My dad always made sure I got the workouts in,” he said. “ He put me on a path where I would out work everybody.”

Like his father, Nelson has earned some national recognition. He has been named to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List, the United States Basketball Writers Association’s (USBWA), the National Player of the Year award.

“I’m definitely super honored to be on that list,” Nelson said. “They said your dad had won it before. He won it in ’04 [2004]. I could be even somewhat closer to one of the things he’s accomplished in college since he had such as great career.”

Delaware (12-13 overall, 4-8 league) are trying to pick up some momentum with the regular season winding down. The CAA tournament will be March 5-8 in Washington, D.C. The Blue Hens won the tournament last year, which gave them an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

#1 Jameer Nelson, pictured alongside fellow Delaware teammate #24 Christian Ray and Haverford School alums #3 Tyler Seward, #25 Jameel Brown & #50 Asim Richards after winning the 2019 PAISAA Title – Photo by Mike Nance

“I love our team,” Nelson said. “I feel we have a super talented team. It’s all in terms of putting it together and getting stops. We have a team can win the CAA. We have a team that definitely can compete.”