Nelson playing for the Magic.
|No. 14 - Orlando Magic|
|Date of birth|| February 9, 1982 |
|Place of birth||Chester, Pennsylvania|
|Listed height||6 ft 0 in|
|Listed height||190 lbs|
|NBA Draft||2004; Round: 1 / Pick: 20th|
|Selected by the Denver Nuggets|
|Orlando Magic (2004-present)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Jameer Nelson at NBA.com|
Jameer Nelson (born February 9, 1982 in Chester, Pennsylvania) is an American professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the NBA. He is most famous for being one of the most popular stars of men's college basketball in the early 2000s, playing for Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
Nelson is one of the most accomplished high school and college players to come out of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He starred at Chester High School, leading the school to the state title in his senior year (2000). Averaging 21 ppg, 7 apg and 6 rpg, Nelson was named to the All-State team, the Delaware County Daily Times Player of the Year and Schoolsports.com Player of the Year.
Nelson began his play at Saint Joseph's in the 2000-01 NCAA season. He had a breakout junior season in 2002-2003, where he averaged 19.7 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, and 4.7 assists per game. He declared for the NBA Draft in 2003, but remained for his senior season because he wanted to improve his draft status.
Nelson became arguably the most publicized player in the country during his senior season in 2003-2004 as he led the Saint Joseph's Hawks to a 27-0 regular season record. Nelson and junior guard Delonte West formed what was largely considered the nation's best backcourt, helping the Hawks earn a #1 Seed in the NCAA Tournament. They advanced to the Elite Eight and were within seconds of the Final Four before Oklahoma State Cowboys' John Lucas III hit a three-pointer with only a few seconds remaining (after the make, Nelson dribbled up the court and had a chance to tie the game, but his 15-foot shot hit the front on the rim and bounced out.) Saint Joseph's finished with a 30-2 record, the best in the University's history. Nelson averaged 20.6 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.9 steals per game. He left the Hawks as the best player in the program's history, as its all time leader in scoring (2094 points), assists (714), and steals (256). Nelson's number was retired by the university on April 23, 2004.
Because of his extraordinary accomplishments as a senior, Nelson won the 2004 Wooden Award, the 2004 Naismith Award, the Rupp Trophy, and many more accolades, including being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Nelson was selected 20th in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, and was subsequently traded to the Orlando Magic for a 2005 first-round draft pick. Though many speculated he would be within the top 10 picks, he fell to number 20, and the Magic, eager for a point guard, acquired Nelson.
Nelson started the NBA season off slowly, coming off the bench as a backup to point guard Steve Francis. However, later in the season he earned additional minutes and became a steady backup, consistently providing a well-rounded game. Later in the season, Nelson became the starting point guard (Francis was moved to starting shooting guard). Nelson improved the Magic's overall ball-handling, reducing turnovers, and played efficiently and consistently. He kept his starting position for the remainder of the season, with the exception of a few games under new interim head coach Chris Jent. At the end of the season, Nelson was selected to the All-NBA Rookie second team. On February 22, 2006, the Magic dealt Francis to the New York Knicks, paving the way for Nelson to step into the starting point guard slot.
During the 2006-2007 NBA season, Jameer Nelson averaged 14.3 points, 3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.