NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans have hired Aaron Nelson as Vice President of Player Care and Performance, it was announced today by Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin.
“We are thrilled to add someone of Aaron’s caliber to our team,” said Griffin. “More importantly, Aaron brings a human element to the organization that we value just as much. In his new role, Aaron will oversee our team’s injury prevention, rehabilitation, and athlete performance and recovery programs. We look forward to adding his years of experience, knowledge and leadership to our medical staff.”
Prior to joining the Pelicans, Nelson was a member of the Phoenix Suns organization for 26 seasons, including 19 years as head athletic trainer and most recently held the title of senior vice president of athlete health & performance. In 1993, Nelson began his NBA career as an assistant athletic trainer in Phoenix, where he worked with Griffin from 1993-2010. During his tenure with the Suns, Nelson and his staff were widely recognized throughout the NBA as industry leaders in sports medicine, prolonging the careers of some of the game’s best players including Hall of Famers Grant Hill, Steve Nash, and Shaquille O’Neal.
Nelson, who was named the Joe O’Toole NBA Athletic Trainer of the Year by the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association for 2009, is certified and licensed as an athletic trainer, performance enhancement specialist (PES) and corrective exercise specialist (CES).
A native of Manning, Iowa, Nelson spent the Spring 1993 semester as a graduate assistant at Arizona State University after graduating from Iowa State University in 1992.