CORVALLIS, Ore. - Three years ago, Roberto Nelson was arguably the most highly recruited player to come to Corvallis in more than two decades. He was a favorite to revive Oregon State basketball.
"I just loved it,” said Nelson. “It was a family atmosphere for me. At the time, I really liked it and going to the other schools just didn't feel like Oregon State."
His college choice, the biggest decision in Nelson's life, was made while his best friend and basketball mentor, his father Bruce, was behind bars.
Nelson's dad was sentenced to seven years in prison in June of 2008 after he was found guilty of committing lewd acts against patients at a brain rehab center, where he was working.
"It was definitely a hard time for me because a lot of the time he handled the recruiting process,” said Nelson. “It put a lot of pressure on me and my mom. It was just a really tough time."
Nelson's most intimate moments with his father are now very public in a new e-book called "Hand Me Down Dream."
"I think there is no doubt that he chose Oregon State because with his dad gone, Craig could be somebody that he admire and follow that lead," said author George Dohrmann.
The book follows Nelson's journey to Oregon State and at times, Dohrmann offers his opinion on Nelson's decision and head coach Craig Robinson.
"I've definitely been critical, especially last year, of Craig Robinson's coaching, particularly his defense and some other things,” said Dohrmann. “Sometimes he's putting a square peg into a round hole. I think gradually he's realizing what he's got and how to utilize it."
Nelson has grown up in the spotlight and says he doesn't mind being the subject of a book.
"I hope people can kind of look at it and just say, 'This guy's had a hard life. He's made it through and it's made him the person he is today,'" said Nelson.
Nelson's dad was released from prison in December and last week against Stanford, Nelson played with his father in the stands for the very first time as a Beaver.
Nelson says either way -- public or private -- behind bars or not -- his relationship with his dad hasn't changed.