Wykons’ Nelson, Golliher sign D2 letters of intent
IRON RIVER—As tall, athletic and skilled players from early on, West Iron County seniors Emily Nelson and Eden Golliher have long dreamed of playing college basketball.
For Golliher, those ambitions started when she began playing AAU basketball in sixth grade. For Nelson, it was when she first saw Forest Park star and future Michigan State Spartan Lexi Gussert play while she was in middle school.
While those aspirations began as hopes, they developed along the way to the point of reality. And both players took their first official step to beginning their college basketball careers when they signed national letters of intent at a signing day event at West Iron on Nov. 13.
Both signed letters of intent to play for NCAA Division 2 programs – Nelson for Michigan Tech and Golliher for the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Understandably, both Golliher and Nelson were thrilled to experience the realization of a dream.
“I woke up at 4:30, no alarm,” said a beaming Golliher. “I was ready to go. I’m so excited. I’m so blessed, for one, to be able to have this opportunity, and especially being able to watch Emily sign. That’s amazing. It’s just exciting, so much enjoyment right now.”
“It’s so overwhelming,” Nelson said. “Just because today you just think about all the work and all the time you spent in the gym and what it adds up to be.”
Both Nelson and Golliher have been highly decorated high school players. Golliher was picked by the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association as a member of the 2019 Division 1-3 Dream Team after averaging 15.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 blocks per game.
Nelson was named to the Division 1-3 first team last year after averaging 11.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.8 blocks and 1.7 assists per game.
Both were also given honorable mention on the Associated Press Division 3 all-state team.
Additionally, Golliher was named to the UPSSA all-U.P. Class ABC second team in 2018, while Nelson was given honorable mention on the team that same year.
In those seasons, the Wykons compiled a record of 37-8 (.822 winning percentage) with two district championships. Both were also members of the 2016-17 West Iron district champions as freshmen.