Neeser earns Nevada scholarship |

Neeser earns Nevada scholarship

Steve Yingling

Jason Neeser won’t leave the University of Nevada bookstore with an empty wallet next fall.

Last week, Wolf Pack fifth-year basketball coach Pat Foster granted the walk-on off-guard from South Lake Tahoe a full scholarship.

“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. Now everything will be paid for, including books,” said Neeser, who was a two-time Northern Nevada League most valuable player while playing at South Tahoe High.

Neeser, however, knew for some time that he would be awarded a scholarship.

“I knew they were going to do it officially at some point, but I’ve known it for quite a while. During the season, the coach made me a (scholarship) promise and I knew he would live up to it,” Neeser said.

Foster elected to give Neeser scholarship because his season of experience and his obvious shooting ability.

“I’m not giving him a scholarship, he deserves it. We’re proud to put him on scholarship and we think he can contribute for us,” Foster said. “He’ll give it his best, and that’s all you can ask for. I know he’s never going to do anything to disappoint me or the program.”

Besides financial security, Neeser presumes his role with the Pack will expand next season.

“They’re more willing to commit to me in general, which means I’ll have a more important role,” Neeser said.

That role is starting to take shape since Foster’s starting five will be completely different than last season.

“We’re going to have a lot of guards, but one of the advantages I have is I’m a pretty good shooter. We don’t have a lot of (designated) shooters,” Neeser said.

Added Foster, “If we can find his spot, his comfort zone, so to speak, I think he could do well.

“He has the potential to be the best shooter on the team, but I think he also has the potential to play a complete game. With hard work I know he can improve his ballhandling and defensive skills.”

So far, Neeser doesn’t regret leaving Dartmouth of the Ivy League in 1996 after one season as a reserve.

“I would say so far things have worked out pretty well,” he said.

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