St. Augustine grad Nelson, Delsea alum Braxton Named South Jersey College Players of the Year

St. Augustine grad Nelson, Delsea alum Braxton Named South Jersey College Players of the Year
Even though its banquet was canceled due to the pandemic, the Albert J. Carino Boys’ Basketball Club of South Jersey still is presenting various awards.
 
The Sam Strauss Memorial Award that goes to the major college player of the year went to American University senior guard Sa’eed Nelson, of St. Augustine and St. Francis University guard Keith Braxton of Delsea.
 
Both capped their careers with outstanding senior seasons.
 
Nelson, who led St. Augustine to the 2016 state Non-Public A championship, started all 118 games that he appeared in for American University. Tis season he was the Patriot League Player of the Year and a first-team all-Patriot choice for the second straight season.
 
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Nelson finished his career as American University’s all-time leading scorer with 2,116 points, which is also third all-time in the Patriot League.
 
This season he led the Patriot and was third in the nation in steals with 2.83 per game. With 277 career steals he ranks second in school history and third in the Patriot.
 
Nelson also became American’s first player to earn a spot on the Lou Henson All-American team since its inception in 2010. This team comprises the best mid-major players in Division I basketball from the following conferences, America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast, and of course, the Patriot.
 
Nelson is one of just two players from the Patriot League to be recognized, joining Max Mahoney of Boston University.
 
This season Nelson averaged 18.5 points, 4.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 36.2 minutes per game for the Eagles, who finished 16-14 overall and 12-6 in the Patriot.
 
After graduating from Delsea, Braxton played one post-graduate season at Lawrenceville.
 
As a senior at St. Francis, the 6-foot-5 Braxton averaged 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 36.1 minutes.
 
He scored 20 or more points 11 times, including a season-high 25 points against St. Joseph’s when he hit 9 of 17 from the field, including 2 of 3 from three-point range and hit all five foul shots.
 
Braxton was a first-team all-Northeast Conference (NEC), first team National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 15 and also a Lou Henson mid-major All-American.
 
He became the NEC’s first-ever 2,000-point, 1,000 rebound performer.
 
This season he led the Red Flash to a 22-10 record and a berth in the NEC championship game, where St. Francis fell to top seeded Robert Morris, 77-67. Braxton had 22 points and nine rebounds in the championship game, his final college contest.
 
Braxton finished his career third in program history in scoring (2,067), rebounding (1,151), assists (454) and steals (194).

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Author: Marc Narducci

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