PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A star at St. Joe’s, Jameer Nelson was one of the greatest players to ever lace them up in the Big 5.
Few will ever forget his 2003-2004 season for the Hawks as they spent time as the #1 team in the nation, finished the regular season 27-0, and advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament.
Since then, Nelson has been a first-round NBA draft pick and has put together a very good pro career with the Orlando Magic.
This week, the Chester, Pa. native returned to Philadelphia as part of the “Reebok Breakout Challenge,” a basketball camp for elite high school players being held at Philadelphia University (see related story).
Nelson says it’s always good to be back in the Philadelphia area.
“I come back quite often,” he says. “Just kind of work out, hang out with my family and friends, and just relax for the most part.”
Nelson, 29, has spent all seven of his NBA seasons with the Magic, averaging 12.5 points and 4.9 assists per game while emerging as one of the league’s best point guards.
Still, he takes his success in stride.
“So far so good. I think so far I’ve been somewhat successful. Been on great teams, and I’m very fortunate for that. You know, on great teams you get noticed and you’re on TV a lot. Everybody wants to be on TV, so it’s fun doing that. Individually, I think I’m having a pretty good career, so I’m satisfied right now, but I want to get better and obviously win a championship.”
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Of course, it could be a while before Nelson gets another chance at an NBA title, with the league now in a lockout that would seem to be on pace to shut down the league for a significant amount of time. He says he will just get ready for whenever there is basketball to play.
“Just continue to work out, try to get better. That’s the only thing I can do — I can’t do anything else at this point. Just wait until somebody tells me the lockout is over.”
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060