Don Nelson beats age in academic race by earning degree at 71
Don Nelson confessed that in 2000, it was Shaquille O’Neal’s commitment to education by going back to University, which reminded the aging coach of his own ambitions.
Don Nelson made it a personal goal to complete college since it would have made him the family’s first male member to attain a college degree.
The 71-year-old Don Nelson was a former Iowa Hawkeyes’s player and won the All-American twice. He left Iowa in 1962 before the completion of his degree and was a third-round draft pick by the Chicago.
Don Nelson enjoyed a 14-year career as a player in the league. After one season with Chicago Bulls and two seasons with Los Angeles Lakers, Don Nelson had an eleven season run with the Boston Celtics where he earned five titles. In 1978, the Boston Celtics even retired Don Nelson’s No.19 jersey in recognition of his achievements.
Don Nelson chose to coach in the NBA after his career as a player for an amazing 31-year period before his retirement in April 2010. Don Nelson is considered to be one of the top coaches in the NBA’s complete history, owing to his signature “run-and-gun” style offensive maneuvers. The point guard position is a very popular design of Don Nelson. He was known for his unusual take on the game, creating controversies with his combinations in the lineup.
Due to his record of 1355 wins in the coaching career, Don Nelson is finally getting a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
If it weren’t for a deficit of eight credits and the frustrating teaching-requirements condition, Don Nelson would have surely graduated from the University of Iowa a lot earlier.
Don Nelson had to put his dreams on the hold throughout his professional career in the NBA due to the inconsistencies of the job. However, Don Nelson made several attempts to earn back his degree. Don Nelsom even took Spanish courses that earned him six-credits, and fell short by 2-credits. Hence, he decided to postpone higher education, at least until he was a player.
Then when Nelson went on to coach the Golden State Warriors, he earned 4-credits; but upon inquiry with the University, he discovered that they still ask for the student-teaching requisite.
Upon his retirement 50 years later, Don Nelson decided to give it a last shot. Surprisingly, the University was more than ready to hand over the degree since they thought that Don Nelson fulfilled the student teacher requirement through his vast experience and seniority in NBA coaching.
The coach has shared that he has no intention of returning to coaching and is nowadays occupied with different business ventures.