Rushville Republican


February 14, 2014

From an Arlington driveway to Hinkle Fieldhouse

Basketball is a big part of RCHS graduate's life

A 1988 Indiana All-Star, a varsity starter for every game over four years, scorer of 1,447 points, “glass cleaner” with 896 rebounds (which is still a school record standing) and now a real estate agent with a son who plays for Indiana University.

You might ask who are we talking about? Melissa Nelson is who we knew her by in her epic years of high school basketball; a fierce basketball player who, in her freshman year, helped the Lady Lions make a trip to the state finals. A player who averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds a game. Teams were 78-18, including four sectional championships, two regional championships and one semi-state championship. She also still holds the single-game record of 24 rebounds in one contest.

Now she goes by Melissa Nelson Hartman-Compton.

Compton received 12 varsity letters in her high school career.

It all began in third grade.

“I grew up in Arlington on a farm,” Compton said. “We were kind of isolated growing up there. All my family lived around us out there. I started playing basketball in the barns and driveway. When I was in third or fourth grade I became a manager for the fifth grade team and I would play with them. Principal Paul Smith was fabulous.”

Compton continued playing basketball and became a star in high school.

“High school basketball was fun,” Compton laughed. “Rushville was a smaller school and I had a lot of fun playing there. We would all get with one another and put together a game and play for fun. I remember the wrestling coach playing together with us. I also did track and volleyball in high school. I loved sports.”

After her successful high school career, Compton went on to play ball at Butler University.

“I played basketball there until I blew both my knees out and that was it,” Compton said. “I went to Butler for about a year and a half then went to the University of Nebraska. There I received my Bachelors in Business with emphasis in marketing. I lived out there for about 12 years then moved back to the south side of Indianapolis. Now I sell real estate and support my kids. I have been living in Fishers now for about 10 years.”

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