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Ozark 2018 guard Quinn Nelson has long been known for his ability to shoot the ball, but has been adding new elements to his game over the years.
At 6’3, 165-pounds, Nelson has terrific form and balance on his perimeter jumper as well as a quick. He has long been able to set up his outside shot by moving well without the ball, but since his sophomore season has worked hard at creating his own shot and becoming a lock down defender.
“I think these past few years I’m just a player who will do what it takes to win,” Nelson said. If I have to be a decoy for my teammates or try and guard the other teams best player I’ll do it. I think I have deceptive length so I’m able to get my hands on a lot of passes and block some shots as well.”
Nelson spent the offseason competing for the Missouri Flight under former Missouri State Bear Dale Lamberth. It was his first summer playing competitive travel basketball.
“I loved every moment of it,” he said. “Dale really catered to all of our playing styles and tried to find the best way to get everyone to show off the best aspects of their game.
“I grew as a player in terms of the competition we played. We played every type of player and team it seems imaginable. Even in the bad games, it was good experience to play against a team that was that much taller, athletic, or just skilled cause I know that it made me better as a player.”
Ozark has high expectations for the upcoming season with several players returning, including eight key seniors who have extensive varsity experience under their belt. The squad will also return Forrest Barnes who will fill in for point guard Curt Gracey until he can return.
“Coach (Mark) Schweitzer has done a great job of working us all summer and getting us to do a lot of team oriented things to help us grow and I think that’s going to pay off in the end,” Nelson said. “Obviously our goals are to win. We want to compete for the championship in every tournament and make a run at state! We are also super excited and honored to be competing in the Tournament of Champions which is going to be really good for us.”
Nelson says he has always been a Miami Heat fan, both before and after LeBron James’ time with the team.
“Dwayne Wade made me like them and he is my favorite player because even though our playing styles contradict each other I still think he plays in a unique way that makes him the great player he is,” Nelson said. “I think that I like watching college basketball better though, those guys are fighting for an opportunity to play in the NBA and I think they play so hard and fierce and that makes it extremely competitive and fun to watch.”
The son of a basketball coach, Quinn Nelson grew up in the gym and says his family and his dad, Greg Nelson, have had the biggest impact on his basketball career. Greg Nelson coached basketball for more than 20 years making several stops throughout southwest Missouri.
“He made the gym a home for me and that’s where my love for the game flourished,” Nelson said. “My mom has and always will be my biggest fan, her never ending support and encouragement is something I rely on to keep me pushing forward.
“And my brother has always been there to give me competition and without him I wouldn’t be the player I am today. He is in college actually studying to be a trainer, so it’s nice to have him to train me whether it be basketball or weight training.”
At last report, Nelson held offers from Evangel and Nebraska Wesleyan and has a visit to Southwest Baptist planned as well.