A year ago, Barrow (Winder, Ga.) forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa wasn’t entirely sure that she’d come back as the same dominant player after a knee injury ended her season and sidelined her for most of the summer.
That’s why she was all smiles on Friday morning when the McDonald’s Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance stopped by her school and presented her with an honorary jersey for the game, which tips on March 28 at Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
“I wouldn’t have even thought this was possible,” Nelson-Ododa said. “To be able to get the jersey and give a speech and everything is an amazing feeling. I can’t believe it. It doesn’t even feel real.”
This season Nelson-Ododa, a Connecticut signee, is averaging 22 points and 11 rebounds a game.
She averaged a team-high 12 points and 9.4 rebounds and won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship in Spain.
Nelson-Ododa is 1 of 2 Huskies signees suiting up in the game; Central Arkansas Christian (North Little Rock, Ark.) guard Christyn Williams, who is ranked No. 1 overall in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100, is the other.
Nelson-Ododa is ranked No. 5 overall in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100.
“Me and Christyn took our visit together and we played on USA Basketball,” Nelson-Ododa said. “So to get down there and hang out will be fun. That’ll help our chemistry too. I’m looking forward to it all.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY