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Buford's Nelson chooses Notre Dame

File Photo - Buford's Kristina Nelson (52) puts up a shot during the Class AA semifinal game against Brooks County.

File Photo - Buford's Kristina Nelson (52) puts up a shot during the Class AA semifinal game against Brooks County.

Kristina Nelson saw no need to wait to decide on her college future.

The 6-foot-4 Buford post player, who just completed her senior season, gave a verbal commitment to Notre Dame earlier this week, choosing the 2011-12 NCAA runner-up Fighting Irish over several other scholarship offers.

"I visited there last summer, and I liked the atmosphere and their style of play," said Nelson, who chose Notre Dame over her other finalists -- Georgia, UCLA, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Florida State. "I liked the coaches a lot. I just realized that was the place I wanted to be."

Nelson, who also visited Tennessee and Duke, will now concentrate on getting healthy after having surgery two weeks ago to repair a shoulder injury that has nagged her since her freshman season.

Still, she had a solid season last year despite the injury, averaging 10.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game after transferring to Buford from Greater Atlanta Christian, where she played her first two high school seasons.

Nelson hopes to help the Wolves regain the Class AA state championship after finishing as runner-up this past season, breaking their run of three straight titles.

Buford coach Gene Durden is just as convinced as Nelson that Notre Dame will be a good fit for the soon-to-be senior.

"No doubt about it, (Notre Dame is) a solid program," Durden said. "And no doubt about it, Kristina is one of the best players in Georgia. If she's happy with the decision, then I'm happy for her."

Nelson is the latest Buford player to commit to a big-time program, joining soon-to-be graduating senior Andraya Carter, who has already signed with Tennessee.

And she likely won't be the last, with fellow junior Kaela Davis also receiving scholarship offers from some of the top programs in the country.