There is no doubt that Brooklyn Collegiate boy’s basketball team was stacked with skilled hoopsters this season, including Tahron Allen (17.07 ppg), Amahrie Simpkins (15.78 ppg), Majesty Johnson (11 ppg) and Jaylin Anderson (16.69 ppg) — that other quality players didn’t see as much hardwood time.
One such case was senior guard Sion Nelson, a solid bench player who had made an impact in big games this season, including dropping in 17 points in a 95-76 win over perennial powerhouse Thomas Jefferson.
“We were loaded with talent this season,” Assistant Coach Ken Hoyte said. “At another school, he’d probably seen a lot more court time.”
A very good student, Hoyte belives a year at a prep school could benefit the recently- turned 17-year-old basketball-wise, even though he said Nelson has the ability to play at the collegiate level at this moment.
But it seems likely that the AAU and travel ball season will be limited or eliminated altogether if the COVID-19 outbreak isn’t contained soon, leaving players like Nelson possibly seeking prep school basketball to improve their game and college playing opportunities in the process.
“He could play D-III basketball right now,” Hoyte said. “But a year of prep would make him a D-III impact player or potentially a scholarship player at the D-II level.”
However, one aspect of Nelson’s game Hoyte believes he can improve upon is his consistency, something that will get better with more playing time, he said.
“That inconsistency cut his playing time a little bit, but that comes with inexperience,” he said. “But he did have flashes of greatness. He has impressed coming off the bench at times.”
Nelson’s farther, Wilford, feels his son is a gifted hoopster, but because of just turning 17, his mental development isn’t the same as his hoops contemporaries.
“I think he is a natural talent, great instincts and is a knockdown three shooter,” said Wilford, whose daughter, Alexia, just committed to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). “Great kid with good grades but because of his age, compared to others in his class, his maturity isn’t quite there yet.”
Nelson spent two years at Nazareth High School before attending Brooklyn Collegiate as a junior. Hoyte feels he would’ve benefited from playing at the PSAL’s ultra-competitive AA level and would possess more advanced hoops skills right now.
“If he came to us earlier, he would’ve had a better shot of making more of an impact, Hoyte said. “He would’ve been able to adjust to the speed of the game better.”
The case is, according to Hoyte, Nelson needs more hardwood action, which will build his confidence and, in turn, help him believe that playing at a decent college hoops level is a real possibility.
“He’s an exceptional kid, a really good kid,” Hyote said. “All he needs is to be more consistent, and prove to himself that he can play at the next level. But that will go away as he gets more experience.”
As far as where Nelson will play in the unforeseeable future, Wilford said: “We are still contemplating if we are going to do a prep year or explore the D-3 option.”
The rest is up to fate.
Watch Nelson’s sizzle reel in the video below.
— Jerry Del Priore