Justin Nelson reaches 350 games

Big V stalwart Justin Nelson will this weekend coach in his 350th Big V game, when the McKinnon Cougars host the Blackburn Vikings on Sunday 1pm at GESAC.

Spanning across a range of Big V Associations, Nelson has been a trademark of the competition over the past fifteen years.

A number of members of the Big V community had only kind words for his achievement:

“Being a professional basketball player and traveling the word a bit, certain players, coaches, and personalities of the game leave memorable staples. Since I’ve began my journey in Australia, Justin Nelson has been that staple of the game. My first season in Oz, being so far from home, my family really valued the Big V articles as well as the Big V TV episodes. It kept them in tune with a son who was living his dream on the other side of the world. Justin was that face and voice they tuned in to so often. In a sense, many of my family and friends back in Virginia and Pennsylvania we’re just as familiar with Justin as I was! 

Fast forward some years and I heard of the opportunity to play under him with my club McKinnon. I was excited because I knew of his knowledge of the game, his great charisma, and his passion for creating the stage this game we love deserves! Pin all of that together and you have a passionate leader who undoubtedly will go to battle against anyone for his crew. For an American living abroad, having a coach who matches your passion for the game is something I don’t take for granted. Knowing him as the personality, then via the McKinnon Cougars a coach, and now a friend as well, it’s been a staple in my journey and one many of us can say we’ve had the pleasure.

Congrats on 350!”

Dillon Stith – Current McKinnon SCM Player/2017 Joint MVP


Justin – Congratulations on your milestone game, I am sure there are plenty more games to come!

Thank you for the vision in providing a pathway for our great club to enable players the opportunity to strive for something beyond their junior Basketball. Since joining the club, you put Warrandyte Basketball back on the map. Without the Venom program and the pathways formed, Warrandyte juniors would have had no local opportunities for Big V level in the “little town by the Yarra”

Good luck and best wishes J.O

Jenni O’Brien – Warrandyte Venom


Justin has been a great ambassador of the sport and the league for many years now, on and off the court. 

350 games of coaching, wow what an amazing achievement and time put in giving back to the sport. This just shows the great knowledge he has of the game and great leadership qualities he has to lead a team.

Justin is not only a great coach over the years at the Big V, doing it all from development to winning championships and now over the past two years to be coached by him, has given me an insight of why he has been able to coach so many games. He has been a great mentor and coach and puts hours of effort into helping me to develop my game to a further level.

Not only is he an great leader/coach but has been a great ambassador of our league and best of all, a great friend over the many years we have been involved in the league.

Congratulations on this outstanding achievement and lets go out and get the WIN!!!!!

Ivan Platenik – Current McKinnon SCM Player


Huge congratulations are in order to Justin Nelson for chalking up 350 games as a head coach in the Big V. A familiar face to the entire Big V community; love him or loathe him, Justin has put an insurmountable number of hours towards the competition and he’s dedication to the sport is unheralded. Having only been around Justin for the last number of years, it is incredible the amount of knowledge he has on the competition, as well as being encouraging to educate all of those willing to learn about not only the league but the game in general. 350 games cannot be taken lightly, and I wish him all the best in game number 350 in the hot seat. 

Steve Chalmers – Communications Coordinator Big V


I first met Justin as an opposition coach, we had many great encounters against him over the years, all being ferocious games, which was a reflection of his coaching.

While many people know Justin only as the BIG V TV personality, I personally got to know Justin off the court as we would run into each other at pre-season games or during the season while we were scouting, he was always willing to give comments & passed on information, never holding thing in.

Then came the time that Justin asked me to join him at Camberwell, I did not second guess it, I really enjoyed my time coaching under Justin, once again he was passing on knowledge and has always been someone to look up to, whether it be recruiting, game plan, training, in game, on a road trip, after match function or just calls during the week, he was always professional & the main focus did not change, the eye was finals & how far could we develop this team.

Develop is one of the words I would use around Justin, he is the type of coach that always looks to get the best out of people, to really develop the team as a group & the player as an individual.

I have also been lucky enough to work with Justin in the background with the Melbourne Boomers, seeing how the other side of basketball works & what goes into putting a team together from the head coach down to the development players, putting a show on for the fans & building a sporting business from the ground up, Justin really is an all round basketball personality, Boomers general manager, Big V media talent, but when it all comes down to it, he is a Coach in every aspect of what he does, on the basketball court or now.

I have & will always have a huge amount of respect for Justin & look forward to working with him for many years to come.

Simon Liebelt – Camberwell Dragons


Congratulations Justin , a great achievement.

You seem to draw people into helping without them even realizing their helping !!

You were a very well respected person at Warrandyte, then and still now.

Enjoy the 350th and look forward to seeing you for many more years to come.

Jenny Leeson

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