PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For legendary Saint Joseph’s University basketball star, longtime NBA player and Chester-native Jameer Nelson, accolades are the norm but Saturday may be his biggest accomplishment.
“It was just a fear of doing it, not knowing what to expect,” Nelson said about his anxiety over taking classes to get his degree.
In 2004, Nelson led the Hawks to an undefeated 27 wins in the regular season. A few credits short of graduating, he was then drafted into the NBA.
Now, 14 seasons later, he will graduate with the class of 2018. He’ll have a bachelors in sociology and he admits that college is a lot different these days.
“One of the things I did with my last course, it was called Zoom and I was able to Facetime the teacher,” he said.
When asked about what this diploma means to him, he talked a lot about his family. Nelson and his wife have four children but he also talks a lot about being a good role model.
“For me, it was about getting it done, for me, my family, the city of Chester, all the kids, not just in this area, but in the world. A lot of people are scared of doing a lot of things,” he said.
For Nelson, it’s not just about the accomplishments, the awards and now the diploma, it’s about the message it sends to all those who are watching.
“I made a promise to my mom, my grandma and my wife,” he said.
On Saturday, at the James J. McGuire Campus, thousands will watch as Jameer Nelson crosses the stage with a degree proudly in hand.