Travis Nelson could be the next great big man from the state of Iowa to wear a Kansas uniform. The 6-9 junior from Marion, IA is getting looks from the Jayhawks, as well as UCONN and Louisville, but appears to still be in the early stages of both his development and college decision.
“I’ve still got a lot of work to do. I’d like to put some more weight on and get better over the summer. I also hope to have my decision made probably by the end of the summer.”
Right now Nelson lists himself as: “6-9 ½ with shoes on and around 205 pounds.”
That 6-9, 205 lb. size helped clog the middle this season for his Linn-Mar High School team that just completed a state championship run that ended with a 56-51 win over Waterloo East in Saturday’s state title game.
“It was pretty wild. We were playing pretty good throughout the season. At the end we just really put it all together. I stepped up, my teammate Jason Bohannon really stepped, and we just really put it all together.”
Nelson played the center position this year for Linn-Mar but sees himself more as a power forward.
“Here I’m a center, anywhere else I’m a power forward. I like to go outside the lane and I can hit the jumpshot pretty easily.”
It turns out picking a future college home isn’t as easy as those 17-foot jumpshots Nelson is used to nailing.
“I’m just really open right now. The schools I’m most interested in are Kansas, of course, and probably UCONN and Louisville.”
The Jayhawks rank highly with Nelson for several reasons.
“I like the program and I like how they work with their big men and throw it into the post. Kansas looks like their both perimeter oriented and post oriented. Plus, I like the coaches. I went and visited in the fall. The campus was awesome. There’s a lot of history there.”
So what’s the most important factor in finding Nelson’s ideal school?
“That they work with their big men a lot. I want a school where the coaches work really hard with their post guys in practice, and work with them to make them fundamentally sound. I don’t know yet what I’m going to get a degree in so that’s not as much a factor.”
Nelson may not have his future career picked out yet, but he is certain about his love for the game of basketball. When asked about his favorite hobbies away from hoops, he said basketball is about all he has time for these days.