Joseph A. Nelson Athlete Profile

#6 Joseph A. Nelson

Joseph A. Nelson
Position: Forward Height: 6-2 Weight: 175 Roster Years: 1946-1950 Hometown: Spanish Fork, UT Hall of Fame: 1979

  • 1979 Men's Basketball 




All-America

  • 1947-48 Helms Second Team

1979 Hall of Fame Inductee

At Spanish Fork High School, Joe Nelson was All-State in football and basketball and was on the 1945 state track championship team.

After coming to BYU, “Jumpin’ Joe” was a three-year All-Conference basketball star and was named to the Helms All-American team in 1948 ­ the year he set an individual game conference scoring record against Denver with 37 points. He was the conference scoring champion that year and again in 1950. Nelson concluded career as BYU's all-time leading scorer with 1,494 points.

Joe was selected for many all-star teams during his career, including the Los Angeles National Invitational Tournament (1948), Skyline Conference all-tournament all-star team (1949), NCAA western all-star team (1950), and the East-West all-star game (1950).

Joe toured the country in 1950 as a member of the College All-American team, playing 18 games against the Harlem Globetrotters. He played a year of professional basketball with the Waterloo Hawks and St. Paul Lights. In 1950 he received the Dale Rex Memorial Award for his contribution to amateur athletics in Utah.

Career Highlights

  • One of the all-time greats to don a Cougar uniform, Nelson led his team in scoring three years in a row
  • Earned three All-Conference nods
  • Named Helms All-America in his sophomore season

Before BYU

  • Prepped at Spanish Fork High School
  • Was All-State in football and basketball
  • Was on the 1945 state track championship team

After BYU

  • Toured the country in 1950 as a member of the College All-American team
  • Played 18 games against the Harlem Blobetrotters
  • Played a year of professional basketball with the Waterloo Hawks and the St. Paul Lights

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • Received the Dale Rex Memorial Award for his contribution to amateur athletics in Utah in 1950
  • Inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1979

Stats

 Year    G   FGM   FTM   P-AVE
46-47   23    36    37   106-4.7
47-48   24   131   106   368-15.3
48-49   34   204   121   529-15.5
49-50   31   171   121   463-14.9
Totals 114   552   390  1494-13.1


1947-1948 | Sophomore Year

  • Led team in scoring with 368 points
  • Named All-America by Helms
  • Led team to Skyline Conference championship
  • Scored a conference record 37 points against Denver
  • Named All-Conference
  •  Played in the Los Angeles National Invitational Tournament 

1948-1949 | Junior Year

  • Averaged 15.9 points while scoring 529 points on a team that went 11-9
  • Named All-Conference (Skyline)
  • Played on the Skyline Conference all-tournament all-star team 

1949-1950 | Senior Year

  • Averaged 14.5 points per game to lead the team in scoring for third year in a row
  • Named to the Globetrotter tour
  • Named All-Conference and to the Western All-NCAA team
  • Played on the NCAA western all-star team and in the East-West all-star game