Perhaps it was only appropriate that Maurice Nelson would emerge as the key cog to lead Chester (Pa.) High to the title of the Jameer Nelson Philly.com/Rally Classic. After all, he might just be the most hyped player at Chester since, well, since his brother, Jameer Nelson.
That's right, Magic star Jameer Nelson's younger brother is rapidly getting recognition as one of the top high school prospects in the Philadelphia area. A three-year starter, the Chester senior is in his first season playing at the true point-guard position as opposed to his more natural shooting-guard role, with his coach convinced that he's on the path to success at the position."We're trying to get him to learn how to be a point guard," Chester coach Larry Yarbray said. "He's coming along well. His decision-making will get better as the year goes on."
The younger Nelson's decision making may still improve, but, like his brother, he's unlikely to stop firing up shots anytime soon. Against undefeated Norristown, Nelson hit two 3-pointers early in the first quarter, leading Chester to a 17-11 lead en route to a 67-58 lead.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the senior claims to talk to his older brother "all the time," and has developed a knack for helping get a trio of athletic teammates into the game with both his ball distribution and leadership, factors his brother has proven so adept at both in college at St. Joseph's and in more recent years with the Magic.
Those traits were particularly important against Norristown, with junior forward Erikk Wright scoring 16 points in the second half and sophomore Rondae Jefferson adding 12, both of whom benefitted from the additional attention paid to Nelson after his hot shooting start.
Whether Maurice Nelson can live up to the impressive familial basketball legacy left behind by his brother remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: In his final season, he's leading his team in a way that would make his brother proud.