By Jerry Del Priore
Ever since Alexia “Lex” Nelson picked up a basketball at the age of three, it’s been game on for her.
Nelson’s father, Wilford, introduced her and her twin brother, Sion, to the game because of the positive impact it had on his life, and wanted the same for his kids.
“I gave both of them a ball at an early age,” Wilford recalled. “I just knew basketball taught me a lot of life experiences, outside of just being on the court. It taught me how to work hard at something, to become good at it, because you don’t become great at something overnight. That’s a good lesson for everything you do.”
But Nelson, 12, is more than a one-dimensional student-athlete, as she also holds a 90 average at I.S. 383 Philippa Schuyler Middle School for the Gifted and Talented in Bushwick, where she also averages 16 points per game for the Storm.
A promising player who splits court time between her JHS squad and her Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team, the Lady X-Men, the young Canarsie native is currently garnering interest from a number of high schools for her playing abilities and scholastic prowess.
Among the schools is Nazareth, a Catholic high school with an excellent girls’ hoops program as well as first-rate academics.
That’s utmost important because education is first and foremost at the Nelson household. So going to a school where she can apply her hardwood skills against the best competition while earning a topnotch education would be an ideal fit for her.
“It’s exciting because you get viewed by many people,” the five-foot-six-inch point guard said of the possibility of playing for Nazareth. But added that she’s still contemplating her options with her family.
“We are still looking, but Nazareth is on the top of the list,” said Wilford, who earned his bachleors degree from Cooper Union. “We’re still looking at some private schools in the city, because she has very good grades.”
Speaking of good grades, Wilford says he never has to push his daughter to study because she’s always self-motivated.
“I don’t have to tell her to do homework,” Wilford gushed. “That’s one thing about her; she’s on top of it 24-7. She’s pretty mature when comes to things like that.”
With Nelson’s academics in place, Wilford can spend the rest of the time guiding her as the assistant coach of her JHS team, and help her pick her next school.
As for her long-term future, Nelson hopes to play in the WNBA, and is eyeing a career as a sports medicine doctor. But would love to do it simultaneously.
“I have a dream to be a WNBA player,” she said, “but I want to have it both at the same time.”
Lofty goals, for sure, but through hard work and determination nothing seems impossible to Nelson.