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Ozark grad Nelson in 'disbelief' in response to Player Of The Year honor as a senior at SBU


Quinn Nelson had his mind all season on a Great Lakes Valley Conference award, but was recognized by the league’s coaches in a manner he never imagined.

Last week, the Ozark grad’s career at Southwest Baptist culminated in him being tabbed the GLVC Player Of The Year. Also, he was a unanimous All-GLVC First-Team selection.

“My reaction was just disbelief, honestly,” Nelson said. “I had a personal goal to make First-Team All-Conference and that was really my main goal to shoot for. I didn’t even think about POY. To win it is such a huge honor.”

Nelson is the first SBU player to ever be named the GLVC POY. His stat line for his senior season included a 14.8 scoring average, 73 3-point goals and a .443 3-point field-goal percentage.

SBU’s 21-6 season came to an end with a 73-71 loss to William Jewell in the quarterfinal round of the GLVC Tournament. The Bearcats did not receive an at-large berth during the NCAA D-II National Tournament’s ‘Selection Show’ on Sunday.

Nelson finishes as SBU’s career 3-point king, with well over 200 treys over the past four seasons.

He was the COC Player Of The Year at Ozark four years ago. His senior season for the Tigers included a memorable 25-point outing at the Tournament Of Champions against future NBA and NCAA D-I stars.

Nelson held his own against Oak Hill Academy’s roster that included Keldon Johnson, now averaging 15 points a game for the San Antonio Spurs, Will Richardson, who has scored more than 1,000 points at Oregon and David McCormack, who was the Big 12’s Most Improved Player a year ago at Kansas. In addition, Oak Hill’s Keyontae Johnson was the SEC’s Preseason Player of The Year in 2020 at Florida before a medical condition ended his career.

Nelson never received D-I recruiting interest and doesn’t look back and wonder what might have been. He’s felt fulfilled as a D-II ‘baller.

“I think D-II has been such a great level for me to flourish and showcase my skill-set,” Nelson said. “I think it’s a really overlooked level. There is literally so much talent at this level that I wish could be recognized more.

“I didn’t think much about D-I while I’ve been here because I didn’t want to take for granted what I had at SBU,” he added. “I’m thankful for my opportunity here and the relationships I’ve been able to develop.”