By: Bradley Cole
Austin Nelson officially became the first men’s basketball player from North Henderson to sign with a Division 1 program.
Nelson signed his letter of intent to play college basketball at USC-Upstate on Wednesday in front of a large crowd of family and students. Nelson committed to the college back in March. He had other offers from Mars Hill, Johnson C. Smith, Milligan, Tennessee Wesleyan, and Walters State.
USC-Upstate is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which is a 45-minute drive form Hendersonville.
The 6-foot-6 guard has been a huge part of putting North Henderson’s basketball program back on the map. Notably, he led the Knights to a third round playoff appearance in February. He broke school records in single-season points, career points, and career steals, along with earning an McDonald’s All-American nomination. The standout also led the area in points per game (28.7) this past season.
Nelson’s diligence and support helped him achieve his Division 1 dreams.
“I’m really blessed to have the people around me that I do,” Nelson said. “I’m looking forward to the fans, Division 1, it’s just going to be crazy.”
North coach Justin Parris, who was hired before Nelson’s sophomore year, believes he will have a bright future at the next stage.
“They like to play fast paced basketball, so he’ll fit in well; they have a great coaching staff, good academic environment, it’ll be a good spot for him,” Parris said.