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Country Day Round Baller Turns Down Pros to Complete Education
Gabe Nazelli, basketball sensation from Farmington Hills, claims the decision to stay in school was not hard.
Gabe, who will be eligible for all future NBA draft seasons in the years to come, will continue his education as he enters the Fourth Grade at the midwest’s basketball powerhouse, Detroit Country Day. The diminutive, four-foot, two inch, all-around player has worked at all five positions on the basketball court for the last three seasons.
Nazelli’s favorite and most successful position is at the “One” Guard where he can pass, drive or shoot. His best game in the 2011-2012 season was against the Bulls when he scored 32 of his team’s total 36 points in a losing effort. “We lost to my best friend’s team (Bryson Wallace, son of Piston Center, Ben Wallace), lamented Gabe. “He stopped ragging on me the very next day after I blocked his attempted dunk.”
The decision to stay in school was a relief for his parents, teachers and family, especially his Da. His grandfather, former high school, college, international and Olympics coach, Dennis Nazelli, coached the first ever U S Youth Basketball Team to compete in the Soviet Union in 1985 against the host Leningrad City Spartak team. Gabe’s father, Christopher, played on that historic basketball team.
The eldest Nazelli started his basketball career coaching the Livonia Recreation leagues with his son, Christopher. Ten years later after coaching at Dearborn High School, Schoolcraft College, international basketball camps in Sweden, Finland and the Soviet Union, he was coaching the Michigan Collegiate All-Star Team in a four-way Olympic “tune-up” Tournament in Helsinki, Finland. That team included Glen Rice, Terry Mills, Reggie Fox, John McIntyre and Dan Majerle.
Although he is a little serendipitous about his decision, Gabe Nazelli is looking forward to getting back to the classroom and hitting the books. “I believe my family when they tell me that ‘if I do well in school, I can make my own ticket.’”
His favorite subjects are Math and Science; and, he carries an A- scholastic record. Both his parents are educators: Christopher is a Senior Lecturer at Wayne State University and Gabe’s Mother, Andrea teaches foreign languages at Detroit Country Day Middle School.
Gabe is looking forward to attending basketball camps this summer. The first will be the Greg Kelser Camp in Southfield, Michigan from July 16 to July 20. You can send Gabe messages or comments at gabenazelli@