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Meyer Mentor To Sioux Falls Coach

May 14, 2014, 9:55 PM by Perry Groten

Meyer Mentor To Sioux Falls Coach

There are heavy hearts within the South Dakota coaching community with word that legendary coach Don Meyer is in hospice.

Washington boys' basketball coach Craig Nelson still refers to the notes his college coach Don Meyer required all his players to jot down during practice and halftime of games.

"Which is a blessing now that you're coaching, you have that basketball bible to look back on and use some of that advice is pretty neat," Nelson said.

Nelson played point guard at Northern State from 2003 to 2008, a time when Meyer was rapidly closing in on the all-time record for career wins.  Nelson chose Northern State because he, too, wanted to coach.

"And he told me that when he was recruiting me, Craig, if you want to be the best coach and the best player that you can be, you will come here and we will help you and he was true to his word on that," Nelson said.

Nelson visited Meyer in Aberdeen just a couple of weeks ago.  Even in his weakened state, Meyer remains a coach, right up to the end.

"Still asking about x's and o's and what we can do four our team and planning for next year and it's unbelievable how much he still cares about what we're doing down here and really, it's a mini-coaching clinic just sitting by his bedside for three hours," Nelson said.

Many of Nelson's Northern State teammates have gone onto coaching careers as well; inspired by the man who made building character alongside basketball skills a noteworthy pursuit.

"Looking back now, you're so thankful for it and he told you what you needed to hear so that you could improve and I'd give anything to have another workout or another practice alongside him because it was a lot of fun," Nelson said.

Nelson's players had a chance to meet his former coach when Meyer visited the Warriors' locker room this past season.

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