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Gee-Gees land top center 6’9 recruit Matt Nelson

Thursday December 1, 2011

OTTAWA, Ont. – The uOttawa men’s basketball program are excited to announce that Matt Nelson (Peterborough, Ont.) will become a Gee-Gee, and suit up for the garnet and grey next season.

“I’m really excited about coming to the University of Ottawa. I believe it’s the best fit for me both academically and for basketball. The guys on the team really made me feel welcome, and I’m really looking forward to playing with them. It’s like a family,” said Nelson when asked about his decision to play for the Gee-Gees.

The 6’9 Peterborough native is one of top ranked centres in the country coming out of high school, and has been recruited by virtually every school in the OUA. Nelson has also entertained offers from various NCAA schools, but has chosen to play close to home in hopes of winning a national championship at the University of Ottawa.

Nelson also spoke of the good relationship he developed with head coach James Derouin throughout the recruiting process. He likes Derouin’s youthful edge, and believes in the potential of this young Gee-Gees team with the likes of Mike L’Africain, Vikas Gill, and Johnny Berhanemeskel under the leadership of players like Warren Ward and Jacob Gibson-Bascombe.

“(Matt) will most likely be the top ranked center who does not go to NCAA, and that’s a huge compliment to our program as well as just CIS basketball in general,” said head coach James Derouin.

“He’s a very athletic kid, good student, and comes from a great basketball family. He is someone we identified last summer when recruiting Mike (L’Africain), and we’re just really excited to get him into an elite basketball environment wherein we can further develop that talent,” he explained.

“Surely there will be an adjustment for him coming out of high school and transitioning to interuniversity basketball, but we believe that turnaround will be fairly quick for him,” added Derouin.