Balancing both lives: Nelson looks to pursue basketball, academics at Trinity


Samantha Freeman

Coppell senior Jordan Nelson shields her defender on her way to the basket on Nov. 12 at the Coppell High School Arena against Red Oak. Nelson committed to Trinity University in San Antonio to play basketball next year.

Akif Abidi, Staff Writer

The feeling of dribbling a ball down the court and taking a jump shot from the three-point line just to hear the satisfying sound of the whoosh is a feeling Coppell senior point guard Jordan Nelson knows all too well.

Over the summer, Nelson traveled to San Antonio to play in an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) girls basketball tournament. With Trinity University being nearby, she decided to give it a visit.

“I visited the campus with the coaches, it was an unofficial visit and I just fell in love with it,” Nelson said. “Sometimes you get that gut feeling, and I knew this was the place I wanted to spend my next four years. The academics are good and they really cater to you as an athlete, that was something I couldn’t find in the other colleges I was looking at.”

During that time, Nelson was considering basketball offers from out of state schools such as Johns Hopkins University, Emory University and Vassar College, and was also considering schools with acceptance rates running in the teens. But Trinity’s relative proximity to Coppell compared to the other colleges played a big part in her final decision.

At Trinity, Nelson looks to pursue finance with a minor in history and hopes to find a future in sports finance. She also hopes to start an organization to empower and push young girls and women to pursue greater education and graduate school, especially in third world countries.

“Division III college basketball is a level where you can actively work on academics and pursue athletics without having one interfering too greatly with one another,” Nelson said. “I was looking at some Ivy League schools at the beginning of my recruiting and that lifestyle really just did not fit me at all. I care about my friends, I care about my family, I would rather be closer to them than be at a college that’s just better in its academic capacity.”

Coppell girls basketball coach Ryan Murphy agrees with her decision.

Trinity has a terrific academic background along with having a great basketball program, I am sure Jordan will fit right in,” Murphy said. “One thing you know about players who go to Division III colleges is they are there for their love of basketball, not for the money and scholarships.”

As well as being one of the top players on her team, Nelson is also very scholastically invested at Coppell High School, standing in the top 10 percent at rank 47. Juggling life as a top-ranked student and a team starter can be hectic, but Nelson makes sure to make full use of any free time she gets. 

“I get stopped by her teachers in the hallway all the time who just want to ask how’s she doing, they love her,” Murphy said. “It can be hard to balance both her academic work and basketball, she makes full use of the study halls, and she never complains of the load basketball gives her.”

A varsity player since sophomore year, Nelson has become known for her three-point shooting skills and serves as the go-to player for clutch shots in games. Nelson is a leader as well as an important player on the team.

[Nelson] sticks out in the team as a leader, she knows how to take charge and knows what to do,” CHS senior shooting guard Kennedi Rogers said. “She’s a helper, if she sees any underclassmen doing anything wrong, Jordan [Nelson] will help her out. She’s really smart so she always helps us out with our homework too.”

When Nelson is not spending her time studying or in a Coppell jersey, she pursues her other personal endeavor in her business that teaches basketball to young girls at the YMCA and The CORE.

“I absolutely love to do it,” Nelson said. “Right now I train about seven girls pretty frequently ranging from ages eight to 13. It’s just something I have come to love to do because building relationships with young girls is something I find very important. I love empowering them to do things some people would tell them not to and basketball is just an outlet where I can give them a good role model.”

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