Nelson-Ododa Returns From Raleigh

Alonzo Nelson-Ododa played his junior season at Winder (GA) Winder-Barrow High and had a solid year, but he decided to transfer to state power Norcross High for his final year of high school basketball.

Alonzo Nelson-Ododa played his junior season at Winder (GA) Winder-Barrow High and had a solid year, but he decided to transfer to state power Norcross High for his final year of high school basketball.

"We had a balanced team at Winder-Barrow," said Nelson-Ododa. "I averaged around 14 points and eight rebounds, and we had two other guys who averaged about 13. I played the post because I was the tallest player on the team.

"The main reason I transferred to Norcross was coach McMillan. He is a great coach, and he knows what he's doing. Plus, a few players on the team I played with before on AAU so I was comfortable with them. Also, at Norcross I think I'll be pushed to improve because there are other guys close to my size so I can get better in practice everyday."

Nelson-Ododa also made a change on the AAU circuit which enabled his recruitment to take off.

"Originally I was playing with the Georgia Stars, but I wasn't really developing the skills I needed to have," he said. "I started playing with the Worldwide Renegades, and that really helped my game. Coach Dez has been great for me... getting me into workouts and improving on my skills.

"I worked out a lot with guys like J.J. Hickson, and that helped my overall confidence going through July. He is someone who plays in the league, so competing against him can only make me better."

Checking in at 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds, Nelson-Ododa considers himself a combo forward capable of knocking down 3-pointers or scoring in the paint.

"College coaches like that I can play on the outside and defend in the post," he said. "I'm a very good defender and block a lot of shots. I can help defend. They also like that I can face-up and score on bigger players out to the 3-point line or post-up little guys."

The 2011 prospect had been receiving looks primarily from mid-major schools but after a productive July high-major programs started to pursue.

"Originally schools from the mid-major level like Richmond were on me but after moving over to Worldwide I had others start recruiting me," Nelson-Ododa stated. "I've now got offers from NC State, Cal-Berkley, Richmond, and DePaul along with a bunch of mid-major ones.

"I've already taken an official visit to Richmond, and I went to NC State over the weekend. I go to Cal-Berkley on Thursday, and I might take an official to DePaul or Wake Forest, but I'm not sure yet because NC State, Richmond, and Cal are my main schools right now."

Richmond has been on Nelson-Ododa the longest and are a major factor in his recruitment. The Spiders have made him a priority, and he likes what he has been hearing from their coaching staff.

"I liked the visit to Richmond a lot," he stated. "The coaches have told me I can come in and fill Justin Harper's role, a senior who plays the same position as me. I like that they can show me what position I'll play and what kind of a player I can develop into because Justin Harper is a really good player who has basically the same skillset as me."

NC State jumped into the mix in July and assistant coach Larry Harris is handling Nelson-Ododa's recruitment. The Wolfpack hosted him over the weekend for an official visit and certainly left an impression.

"I had a great visit," said Nelson-Ododa. "They have nice facilities and it's in the ACC, but the biggest thing to me was probably the coaching staff. I like the coaches a lot. They are all real down-to-earth, and the players seem to respect them. Coach Sidney Lowe, he seemed to really care about his players and they all look up to him. The coaches told me that they see me as a 3-4 or 4-3... basically a combo forward or face-up forward.

"Another thing with NC State is the players were working real hard, and I think they are determined to have a great year."

Being from Georgia, Nelson-Ododa is also familiar with a few of the current Wolfpack players.

"I know Lorenzo [Brown] and Ryan [Harrow]," he said. "I've worked out with them at some workouts so I know that they are great guards and amazing players. Having a chance to play with them would be great because I think they both will have the opportunity to play in the league."

Nelson-Ododa has one visit remaining, and he is looking forward to checking out Cal.

"It's a big visit for me," he stated. "I know they won the Pac-10 last year and are losing a bunch of seniors. The coaches came down to Norcross and talked about their team and how they are in the rebuilding process with a lot of young players in the rotation.

"I do know that academically it is a terrific school. I will say that distance is kind of a factor but not really. It's something I would have to deal with but everything the school has to offer is very good."

A decision could be coming shortly after the Cal visit, but Nelson-Odada didn't rule out taking other trips. As it stands now, he is still wide open with no leaders.

"I can't say I have a favorite," he stated. "After I visit Cal-Berkley I'm going to come home and make some lists... look at the advantages and disadvantages all the schools have before making a decision.

"The biggest factor for me is I want to know how the coaches are going to utilize my skills. I don't want to be bulked up and just put in the post. I want to be able to play my game and do what I'm good at... I want to continue developing as an overall basketball player."

Nelson-Ododa projects as a full academic qualifier.

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