Rapper Nelly Used to Walk Wizards Guard Bradley Beal to School

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2014

USA Today

If y'all don't want to feel old, I apologize. It's inevitable when y'all hear that Bradley Beal, the starting shooting guard for the Washington Wizards, is young enough that Nelly used to walk him to elementary school. 

Please forgive my "Country Grammar."

According to the Washington Post's Michael Lee, the hip-hop artist used to be a star athlete at the same school Beal's mother worked for, and the result was a relationship with Beal that dates back well before his development into a basketball star. 

"He used to walk me to school sometimes, when I was a little kid," Beal told Lee. "He wasn’t as big as he is now, but he was an up-and-coming rapper."  

CHARLOTTE, NC - APRIL 15:  Nelly is in the house watching the Charlotte Bobcats take on the New York Knicks at the Time Warner Cable Arena on April 15, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downl
Kent Smith/Getty Images

If Beal is 20 years old now, he was probably going to elementary school in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 


For the first time in his professional career, Beal had a chance to play in front of his old friend when the Wizards took on the Charlotte Bobcats, a team for which Nelly is a part owner, on Jan. 7. He started feeling "Hot in Here," here being The Time Warner Cable Arena, and responded with 21 points, even drawing a bit of heckling from the man he knows as Cornell Haynes. 

It's been a rough season for the young 2-guard, who's playing with a minutes restriction as Washington attempts to keep him healthy after returning from a stress injury in his right fibula. A few days before the victory over Charlotte, Lee revealed that the restriction was making it tough on Beal: 

Restrained by a minutes limit as he recovers from a stress injury in his right leg, Beal hasn’t been able to play with the same freedom afforded him earlier in the season. If he goes silent in his first seven-minute stint, Beal sometimes feels more urgency to produce when he returns, pressing for touches and taking inefficient shots. If he’s in a good groove offensively, Beal still has to grab a seat.

Well, he apparently won't struggle if he gets to play in front of Nelly. 

Instead, he'll put up performances that leave Wizards fans hoping the improvements aren't "Just a Dream." If you're one of those fans, maybe it's time to buy a cardboard cutout of the rapper and leave it in a courtside seat. 

Stranger things have happened. 

You know, like Beal wearing No. 23 earlier in his basketball career as a tribute to LeBron James, not Michael Jordan.