Where are they now? Roberto Nelson

Former OSU guard Roberto Nelson brings the ball up against Stanford Jan. 9 in Gill Coliseum.

Josh Worden Senior Beat Reporter

— Roberto Nelson: Basketball guard, 2009-2014

At OSU: Nelson finished his career in Corvallis as one of Oregon State’s most prolific scorers in program history. He is OSU’s fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,745 points, tied for third in 3-pointers with 179 and second in free throws with 486. He led the Pac-12 his senior year with 20.7 points per game and scored in double figures 84 times in his career. He played in 124 consecutive games between 2010-2014, scoring 20 or more points 33 times along with 30-plus points in six games. OSU honored him in Feb. 2014 as an Oregon State Everyday Champion.

After OSU: Life has moved quickly for Nelson, who played for the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA’s Summer League after graduating. He knew he probably would have to play in the NBA’s Development League if he stayed in America, and playing in Italy appealed to him. Luckily, it “all worked out.” Nelson, who is averaging 11.3 points and 3.7 assists per game so far in his professional career, has played for two different teams in his two years: first in the city of Brescia and then in Trieste.

“Ever since our last game (at OSU), everything has blown by super quick,” Nelson said. “Where does time go?”

Though Nelson is overseas, he still keeps in touch with his OSU teammates, such as Joe Burton and Eric Moreland. He also remains close friends with Jonathon Hoover, a childhood friend of Nelson’s who still is a student manager with OSU.

He also enjoys in his life in Trieste; he spends much of his time traveling between the gym and home, but he has his own car and enjoys the opportunities that living overseas provides.

“I’m getting a chance to experience the culture, meet people from a new culture,” Nelson said. “I think that’s the beauty of basketball has been able to bring to me this early in my career. It’s been amazing.”

Nelson would like to play professional basketball for as long as possible. His goal is to play for a decade, but he has plans for when his career ends. He talked in mid-February with Craig Robinson, whose final year as OSU’s head coach was Nelson’s senior season, and Robinson encouraged Nelson to talk with the Pac-12 Networks about a job or internship. Nelson majored in New Media Communications at OSU, and loves to be behind the camera but also is interested in coaching and plans to get his real estate license.

“There’s really just so many things that interest me right now,” Nelson said. “Knowing me, I’ll probably be doing something that nobody thinks I’ll be doing.”

He’s a couple years removed from his last game in an OSU uniform, but he still calls himself a “lifelong Beaver” and he loves watching Beaver basketball games from Italy.

“It’s crazy, but it’s fun, because now I’m a fan,” Nelson said. “That’s where my heart is, that’s where I went. I had some of my best memories in college. I can see myself out there sometimes, but it’s great to be a fan, sit back and get those sweaty palms when you’re watching and the game gets close.”

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