Year Inducted: 1985
Schools / Organizations: (Hinsdale) Central High School
University of Arizona
Biography: Joe Nehls is one of the greatest basketball players produced at Hinsdale Central. Nehls warmed up for his senior year by being named to the DeKalb Holiday all-tourney team and gaining honorable mention in West Suburban Conference balloting as a junior. Nehls established an all-time Hinsdale Central single season scoring record as a senior with 607 points and led the West Suburban scoring parade. He was a unanimous all-conference selection and was named Suburban Life’s all-area Player of the Year, the Chicago Daily News’ all-state team and was accord all-area honors by the Suburban Trib and the Chicago Tribune. He graduated in 1976 as an honor student.
Nehls received a basketball scholarship to the University of Arizona where as a sophomore was the Western Athletic Conference’s sixth-leading scorer with a 14.5 average. In his junior season at Arizona his average climbed to 19.3 and he was the third leading scorer, now in the Pac-10. He hit 46 percent from the field and 89 percent from the free throw line and was named all-Pac-10. He was also cited for his academic and athletic achievements by the University of Arizona. As a senior Nehls was again all-Pac-10, the third leading scorer at 19.5 (.500FG and .890 FT). He won the Pac-10 Citizen Athlete award, was named Arizona’s senior athlete of the year, was honorable mention all-America. And again, Nehls was singled out for his academic and athletic achievement by Arizona. Nehls was drafted by the Houston Rockets.