Western Kentucky head coach Rick Stansbury welcomed Bel Aire (Kan.) Sunrise Christian Academy forward Marek Nelson for an official visit over the weekend and used that time to show off the campus and express his desire to have the 6-foot-7, 190-pound prospect join the highly-rated 2017 recruiting class.
A native of Plano, Tex., where he earned first team All-District honors for the 2015-16 season at Plano East High, Nelson spent three days in Bowling Green and left with a very strong impression of what the opportunity to be a Hilltopper provides.
"I enjoyed it," he told WKU Insider shortly after returning home. "I enjoyed visiting with coach Stansbury and learning about the program and get a better understanding of what it would be like. Everyone there was very nice and I had a great time while there. It was a very nice opportunity for me."
During his discussions with Stansbury, Nelson learned that the Hilltoppers second-year head coach would have immediate and long-term expectations for him.
"He see's me filling a hole that they currently have," he said. "He wants me to come in and have an impact on the direction of the program. He told me all about the tradition there and what the culture is like and how he's working to put them on the same playing field as Kentucky and Louisville in what is a big basketball state."
Nelson also left impressed by what he experienced on the WKU campus.
"It was a beautiful campus," he said. "I liked how everything is really close together and what they have to offer."
While currently a junior, Nelson is likely to reclassify to the 2017 class and the WKU visit was his first official visit. Illinois, Memphis and Wichita State also have Nelson's attention, with Kansas State, Utah State and a number of mid-major programs also extending scholarship offers.
Committing to WKU would bolster a recruiting haul that ranks among the nation's best.
"That would be exciting," he said. "The spotlight will be on Western Kentucky because of the recruiting class that's coming in."
Nelson, who said he'd enjoy performing in such a spotlight, plays for Lone Star Elite on the AAU circuit and has been impressive on the hardwood. Lone Star Elite Director Darius Coleman describes Nelson as a "quick and explosive wing that plays above the rim."
"(He's a) capable shot maker, and really good in transition," Coleman said. "Defensively he can guard multiple positions and will fill the stat sheet rebounding, assist and scoring."
Nelson, who currently claims no favorites, doesn't have a timeframe for his college decision, but hopes to make his choice "soon."