Don Nelson

Just a week after Shaquille O’Neal received his doctorate degree, Don Nelson will receive his Bachelor’s degree in physical education that was nearly 50 years in the making.

The winningest coach in NBA history, the now-retired Nelson, who turns 72 next week, will take part in commencement ceremonies this Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa.

“The reason I coached all these years was that I enjoyed so much being around young, talented people,” Nelson told the Des Moines Register. “This will be like coaching my teams, really. I love talented, young kids.”

Nelson, who spent 14 years as a NBA player, followed by 31 seasons as an NBA head coach, needed to require foreign language requirements to finally obtain his long-desired degree, which he put on hiatus when he left Iowa in 1962. He was able to complete those language requirements through correspondence/online classes.

– Reported by the Sports Xchange