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Son seeks return so ailing Dad can see him play
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On February 13, 2013 @ 10:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Rachel A. George, USA TODAY Sports
WATERLOO, Iowa – Jaron Nash remembers watching his father play, a highlight reel showcasing games he didn’t see in person.
It was always his dad’s toughness that made him different. Sure, Jerry Nash had size. At Jaron’s age, he was 6-5, 196 pounds. He was athletic, and a great leaper, everyone says.
But more than that, he had a seemingly endless well of fight. His former teammates say Jerry was always the hardest-working guy on the court. No one would out-hustle him. No one would break his spirit.
Jerry Nash’s fortitude is still obvious in his voice. It sustains the former Division I basketball player, a local hero who was never a superstar but in his hometown is viewed as a legend. It also drives his son, Jaron, a junior forward who transferred to North Dakota to be closer to his father and also left a difficult environment at Texas Tech.
It has underwritten a father-son relationship built on basketball, one that blossomed after multiple sclerosis took the game from Jerry and now has taken his ability to walk.
If Jerry Nash cannot play, he’d like to see Jaron on the court. But right now, Jaron can’t play either.
“He hasn’t really seen me get to play since high school,” says Jaron, 22. “It would mean the world to him. The strong bond we have is basketball.”
While Nash spent his first semester at North Dakota hoping the NCAA would waive a transfer rule that requires him to sit out a year before he can play – his request was denied twice – his grades suffered and in December he was ruled academically ineligible. After transferring from a major program to be closer to home, the weight of his father’s illness wore on him.
“When I found out I wouldn’t be able to play (because of the NCAA’s rulings on the waiver), it kind of took a toll on me,” Jaron says.
Molded by those old VHS tapes of his father’s college days and a group of friends, men Jerry trusted to teach his son what he could not, Jaron grew into a lithe 6-8 forward with ball-handling skills. … [For more on Son seeks return to court so ailing Dad can see him play, click here.]
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