Spencer Nelson

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Spencer Nelson
Utah State Aggies
PositionAssistant coach
LeagueMountain West Conference
Personal information
Born (1980-07-11) July 11, 1980 (age 38)
Pocatello, Idaho
NationalityAmerican / Azerbaijani
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High schoolPocatello (Pocatello, Idaho)
CollegeUtah State (1998–1999, 2002–2005)
NBA draft2005 / Undrafted
Playing career2005–2015
PositionSmall forward / Power forward
Coaching career2016–present
Career history
As player:
2005–2006GHP Bamberg
2006–2007Benetton Treviso
2007–2008Fortitudo Bologna
2008–2009Aris Thessaloniki
2010–2013Gran Canaria
2013–2014Montepaschi Siena
2014–2015Reyer Venezia Mestre
As coach:
2016–presentUtah State (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
As player:

Spencer Howells Nelson (born July 11, 1980) is an American-born Azerbaijani[1][2] naturalized former professional basketball player. At 6'8", he played at both small forward and power forward, although he was mainly considered a power forward.

High school[edit]

Spencer attended Pocatello High School and was named the Idaho A-1 Player of the Year as a senior in 1998. He averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two blocks per game as a senior. Hit 43.3 percent of his three-pointers and sank 73.0 percent of his free throws as a senior. As a junior, he averaged 14.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and shot 62.5 percent from the field. Earned second-team all-state honors and first-team all-region honors as a junior. Spencer had a notoriously loud and raucous group of fans in high school he named "The Sixth Man" which provided a home court advantage even on away games. Spencer's abilities were not limited to the basketball court as he was a four-year letterwinner in tennis, claiming the men's doubles state championship in 1998 and finishing third in mixed doubles in 1997.


After his freshman year, he went on a two-year mission to Oklahoma, serving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon his return, he became one of the Big West Conference's best players.[3]

Nelson had a stellar career as an Aggie and was named to the Utah State University All-Century Team while still playing for Utah State.[4]

Professional basketball[edit]

After graduating in 2005, he was not drafted in the 2005 NBA Draft. However, he was invited to try out for the Utah Jazz. He was an immediate fan favorite because of his success at Utah State. Despite playing well, Nelson was not chosen for the final roster, but was immediately offered a spot playing for GHP Bamberg in Germany. In 2006, instead of seeing if he'd make the final roster for the Jazz, Nelson chose to play for Benetton Treviso, a team that he made an outstanding performance against while playing with Bamberg in the Euroleague (he scored 23 points, pulled down 20 rebounds and delivered 7 assists) in a 92-85 home win.[5] Nelson's good performance helped the team qualify for the top 16 phase, the first ever German team to accomplish this achievement.
After spending one season with Treviso, mainly coming from the bench, Nelson transferred to Climamio Bologna, also in Italy. On 26 January 2010 he stated that GHP Bamberg (Germany) was his favourite professional club he played for. He also told a local radio station to send greetings to the fans of his former club.

In July 2010 he signed a contract with CB Gran Canaria in the Spanish ACB, where he played with former Utah State teammate Jaycee Carroll during the season 2010/11.[6]

In September 2013, he signed with the Italian club Montepaschi Siena for the 2013–14 season.[7]

On November 13, 2014, he signed with Reyer Venezia Mestre for the 2014–15 season.[8]

On July 14, 2015, Nelson announced his retirement from professional basketball.[9]

Nelson returned to Utah State as an assistant coach on August 23, 2016.[10]


After he retired from playing basketball, Nelson worked at Cicero Group in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he ran the company's private equity group. Nelson is married to Julie Clayton Nelson.[11]


High School[edit]

  • 1997-98 Idaho A-1 Player of the Year


  • 2002-03 Big West Player of the Week (1/13/03)
  • 2002-03 Utah State Most Inspirational Player
  • 2002-03 Academic All-Big West
  • 2002-03 Big West Hustle Player of the Year
  • 2002-03 All-Big West Honorable Mention
  • 2003-04 Big West Player of the Week (1/12/04)
  • 2003-04 Utah State Most Inspirational Player
  • 2003-04 Multiple Sclerosis Society Utah State Chapter Collegiate Male Athlete of the Year
  • 2003-04 Academic All-Big West
  • 2003-04 Big West Hustle Player of the Year
  • 2003-04 Big West Second Team All-Conference
  • 2004-05 Big West Player of the Week (12/20/04)[12]
  • 2004-05 Big West Player of the Week (1/31/05)[13]
  • 2004-05 Big West Player of the Week (2/7/05)[14]
  • 2004-05 Utah State Most Inspirational Player
  • 2004-05 Cecil Baker Most Valuable Player
  • 2004-05 Utah State Male Athlete of the Year
  • 2004-05 Utah State Big West Scholar-Athlete
  • 2004-05 Big West All-Tournament Team
  • 2004-05 Big West First Team All-Conference
  • 2004-05 Big West Hustle Player of the Year
  • 2004-05 United States Basketball Writer's Association All District 8 Team[15]
  • 2004-05 CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Player of the Year[16]


  1. ^ Azerbaijan is ready for qualify round
  2. ^ Four new Azerbaijani nationals
  3. ^ Men's Basketball-Spencer Nelson Profile
  4. ^ Deseret News (March 2, 2005). "Aggies' Nelson puts team first". Deseret News.
  5. ^ Bamberg vs. BENETTON B, TREVISO Archived 2008-08-01 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Gran Canaria 2014 and Spencer Nelson reach to a one-year agreement.
  7. ^ Mens Sana Siena agreed to terms with Spencer Nelson
  8. ^ Reyer Venezia announces Spencer Nelson
  9. ^ "Spencer Nelson retires at 35". Sportando.com. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  10. ^ Cottam, Kyle (August 23, 2016). "USU basketball: Hall of Famer Spencer Nelson named men's basketball assistant coach". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  11. ^ The Utah Statesman (September 1, 2006). "Julie Clayton-Spencer Nelson". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  12. ^ Utah State Official Athletic Site (December 20, 2004). "Spencer Nelson Named Co-Big West Player Of The Week".
  13. ^ Utah State Official Athletic Site (January 31, 2005). "Spencer Nelson Named Big West Conference Player Of The Week".
  14. ^ Utah State Official Athletic Site (February 7, 2005). "Spencer Nelson Named Big West Conference Player Of The Week".
  15. ^ Utah State Official Athletic Site (March 10, 2005). "Spencer Nelson Adds All-District 8 Honors To His Collection".
  16. ^ Utah State Official Athletic Site (April 5, 2005). "Spencer Nelson Named Mid-Major Player Of The Year".

External links[edit]