Derick Nelson to play in Finland
Nelson will be the second player from coach Greg Kampe's 2009-10 Summit League champion squad to play professionally. Point guard Johnathon Jones announced his decision to sign with a Slovakian club last week. Returning center Keith Benson declared for the NBA draft, but later pulled out after a routine physical uncovered a lingering thumb injury which required surgery. Benson is expected to be drafted following this coming season.
Nelson sat out most of the 2008-09 season with a lingering foot injury and gambled on another senior season, taking a medical redshirt in the hopes of returning for a Summit League championship. He fielded professional offers following the redshirt season, but turned them down with the hopes of team success.
After suffering a broken nose in the Summit tournament, Nelson put off surgery until the offseason. The scheduled procedure forced him to miss a workout with the Detroit Pistons.
One of his final performances in an Oakland uniform was Nelson's best. He poured in a career-high 36 points and willed the Golden Grizzlies to the Summit League Tournament victory over IUPUI in March.
Hours before the championship game, Nelson could hardly walk after tweaking his back. Pregame stretching with a team doctor ironed him back out.
Nelson was a two-time all-league pick and was named to the Mid-Major Defensive All-America Team in 2010.