Friday, April 9, 2010
Rivals Nelson, Bolden join forces at MDCC
GREENVILLE — For the last four years Cadarrius Nelson and Danny Bolden have been bitter rivals, playing on high school basketball teams in the same county only about 10 miles apart.
Nelson, a 6-foot-6 forward from O'Bannon High, and Greenville-Weston's 6-foot-2 go-to man Danny Bolden have helped their respective teams reach new heights over the course of their high school careers.
Nelson has become synonymous with color green, suiting up for the O’Bannon Greenwaves. And the black and gold of GWHS has ran deeply in Bolden's veins for numerous years.
But when the fall rolls around, they both will have to get accustomed to new colors, a new environment and each other.
On Thursday, Nelson and Bolden signed scholarships to play at Mississippi Delta Community College.
“We were rivals, but now we can come together and play harder as teammates,” said Bolden, who averaged 13 points as a senior at GWHS.
Nelson, who showed flashes of dominance throughout the year, had his best game against St. Joe Jan. 12 when he scored 23 points.
MDCC coach Derrick Fears believes Nelson’s ability to score will go a long way for the Trojans.
“He brings an outside jumpshot that was missed this past year from a bigger buy,” said Fears. “He has a nice 15-foot jumpshot and he has a shotblocking presence that can help us.”
Nelson, along with highly touted recruit Lakendrick Evans - who said he will make his college decision public next week, was known for roaming near the basket lurking to block an opponents shot.
As long as Nelson stays hungry and disciplined, he will continue to improve, said OBHS coach George Christian.
“He’s a late bloomer — he only recently started playing basketball — so he has all the potential in the world,” said Christian.
But Fears and Christian aren't the only ones joyous about Nelson's accomplishments. His family is just as proud.
“It means a great deal to me that he’s going to college because most young men these days aren’t going to school. They’re either hanging out on the streets or selling drugs,” said Shatina Neslon, Cadarrius' mother. “I can truly say I have a good son and it’s a honor for him to be chosen to get a scholarship to go to MDCC.”
While Nelson is associated with locking down the inside, Bolden’s all-around game will be immediately put to use, said Fears. Bolden will be playing the shooting guard position, while returnee DeMario Calvin will move to the small forward spot.
“He’s going to be in a position where he’s going to have to shoot the ball more,” Fears said. “But at the same time, he brings something that my No. 2 position doesn't have — a defensive mindset.”
Greenville-Weston coach Ernie Watson, who recently took the head coaching position at Hattiesburg High, echoed Fears’ statements regarding Bolden.
“Coach (Fears) is getting a work-a-holic,” said Watson. “He loves to play defense. He strives at it. He’ll guard the best player on the other team.”
Amanda Elzy’s Eric Davidson, Xzabian Ramiz of Cleveland High and Laquavius Cotton of East Side High are scheduled to sign scholarships with MDCC today, said Fears. And other recruitment is in the works.