50 Years Later, Nelson Graduates

50 Years Later, Nelson Graduates

Don Nelson will end his quest Saturday for the one accomplishment that has eluded him all these years — a college diploma.

Nelson, the NBA’s winningest coach, will graduate from the University of Iowa and receive his diploma from UI President Sally Mason 50 years after leaving the school. It was a lifelong goal for Nelson to graduate, and Saturday he achieves it.

“It’s one of the highlights of my life,” said Nelson from his home in Hawaii. “It’s right up there with winning championships with the Boston Celtics and making the Hall of Fame. I think making the Hall of Fame might be No. 1.”

Nelson, 71, left Iowa in 1962 just 10 credits shy of his degree in physical education. He needed eight hours of a foreign language and took six hours of correspondence work. He then completed four more hours while he was in Spain. But there was one problem.

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