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Christ the King expels star basketball player

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The Christ the King boys’ varsity basketball team sustained a severe blow last week with the dismissal of standout senior guard Craig “Peedy” Nelson from the team as well as the school, said Principal Michael Lynch.

Nelson, who was averaging 17 points per game in the three games he played for the Royals this season, was expelled Friday for his alleged involvement in an incident involving another student’s cell phone, according to sources within the Queens basketball community. No charges were filed.

“I think he just hit the end of the line,” one source said. “He had a lot of chances.”

Lynch confirmed Nelson’s expulsion and, although he declined to go into details about the reasons, he said the teen’s failure to claim responsibility for the incident was the crux.

“We have been working with the youngster to accept the responsibility,” Lynch said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”

According to one source, Nelson, a 17-year-old from Williamsburgh, was already on “strict probation” stemming from other school violations and the incident that occurred Dec. 21 was just the latest in “a long line of things over four years.”

Nelson did not play in the Royals’ game against Rice on Dec. 21, before a packed house at the Gauchos gym in the Bronx, nor did he accompany the team on its trip during the holiday break to take part in the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament in Delaware. According to a source, a meeting between Nelson and school administrators last week led to Nelson’s expulsion.

“He’s not a bad kid, he really isn’t,” the source said. “He really doesn’t understand. He really doesn’t have a clue. He had a couple of incidents with different deans. None of the stuff will send you to Rikers, but they add up. This one just finished it off.”

The source added that Lynch worked hard to keep Nelson in the school, but after conferring with numerous teachers, the principal was left with no options.

“He just didn’t live up to the level of expectation and responsibility here at the school,” Lynch said. “It is unfortunate.”

“It just didn’t work out,” the source added. “This just made no sense at all. He’s a tremendous player. When he gets himself together, he’s a top player.”

Manhattan College head coach Bobby Gonzalez was close to offering Nelson a scholarship before the expulsion, a source said, an opportunity that could very well be gone now. A student-athlete expelled from any school must sit out at least one full year if he transfers to a public school.

“I think if a school doesn’t take a chance on him, he’ll end up at a prep school,” the source said. “He’ll do a year over and try to redeem himself.”

Christ the King head coach Bob Oliva declined to comment.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

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