Joe Davidson

Hometown Report: Former Sheldon basketball star Darius Nelson faces felony charges

Sheldon’s Darius Nelson leaves the court after a loss in the 2011 NorCal semifinals.
Sheldon’s Darius Nelson leaves the court after a loss in the 2011 NorCal semifinals.

Things were a lot easier for Darius Nelson on the basketball court. He posted up, he scored, he made three-pointers as one of the most skilled players in regional history for Sheldon High School before graduating in 2011.

After two failed attempts at a college basketball career, Nelson is being held at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove. Nelson, 23, faces two felony charges after an alleged home invasion Dec. 12 in Elk Grove, according to the Elk Grove Police Department.

“The victim was approached by a man with a black handgun demanding money outside the home,” recounted EGPD spokesman Christopher Trim to Monday afternoon. “The victim, held at gunpoint, went into the home with the suspect. Another occupant fled and called for assistance at a neighbor’s home. Money was taken from the home by the suspect. The victim was struck with a handgun by the suspect prior to leaving.”

The investigation led Elk Grove police to Nelson at an undisclosed location Dec. 16. Nelson’s next court hearing, for a bail review and settlement conference, is scheduled for Friday. He’s being held without bail.

As for other suspects, Trim would only say the investigation is ongoing.

Sheldon basketball coach Joey Rollings expressed shock and disappointment at the news, saying only, “It’s all very sad.”

Nelson attended UTEP on scholarship in the fall of 2011 after finishing as the third-highest playoff scorer in Sac-Joaquin Section history. Disappointed with his role on the team, Nelson left the Miners without playing in any games and transferred to Cal State Fullerton, where his stay also was brief. He didn’t suit up for the Titans.

Nelson is the younger brother of DeMarcus Nelson, also a Sheldon graduate and the section’s all-time career playoff scorer who played guard at Duke and is playing professionally overseas.

La Salle Hall of Fame

The 61st La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Fame at Christian Brothers will add nine members Feb. 21 in an event starting at 5 p.m.

Among the inductees are 2000 American League Manager of the Year Jerry Manuel of Cordova, decades-long Yankees scout Greg Orr of Kennedy, in his 37th year in pro ball, and current Inderkum coach Eddie Cervantes, a Johnson star in the 1960s.

Other inductees:

▪ Leon Brown, a 1960s Grant star who played 13 years of pro ball.

▪ Joe “Flash” Gordon, a National Baseball Hall of Famer who appeared in five All-Star games, played on five World Series champions and was named A.L. MVP in 1942.

▪ Don Lyle, who spent seven seasons in the Cincinnati Reds’ organization after a standout career at Sacramento High. As a San Diego Padres scout, he signed Derrek Lee out of El Camino in 1993.

▪ Manuel Perry, a McClatchy star in the 1940s who coached the 1981 Kennedy-Valley team to the American Legion World Series.

▪ Randy Zanze, a star at Bishop Armstrong in the late 1960s who played at USF and competed and managed for years in local leagues.

▪ Joe Viega, a star at Sac High in the late 1940s who played in local leagues for years and won a batting title in the California Mexican League.

For information: or Joe McNamara at (916) 812-5699.

Collie to the CFL

Austin Collie, The Bee’s Player of the Decade for the 2000s while at Oak Ridge, has signed with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League.

A wide receiver out of BYU, Collie caught 179 passes for 1,908 yards and 16 touchdowns in five NFL seasons, most coming with the Colts from 2009 through 2012. Collie’s NFL career was marred by concussions.

Collie’s father, Scott, played wide receiver at BYU and for the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the CFL for four seasons in the 1980s.

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