Amherst's Olson, Hixon Earn NABC National Honors

Courtesy Amherst Sports Information

AMHERST, Mass. – The National Association of Basketball Coaches named Amherst junior point guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, Calif.) the 2007 NABC National Player of the Year on Wednesday alongside junior Guilford center Ben Strong. Amherst head coach Dave Hixon was named the National Coach of the Year after earning Regional Coach of the Year honors last week.

This can be considered the highest honor on a long list of accolades which Olson has garnered this season. Olson has been recognized within the NESCAC, regionally and nationally for his excellent play all year.

Olson was named the 2007 NESCAC Player of the Year after leading his team to the conference championship where they fell to archrival Williams by a single point. Olson was one of three Lord Jeffs to receive a NESCAC Player of the Week honor this season, which can be attributed back to the point guard's ability to spread the ball and scoring around.

The So-Cal transplant has seen regional recognition this season as well, and was named the NABC Northeast Player of the Year honors, which made him an automatic NABC First-Team All-American. Olson was also a First-Team All-American, alongside Strong who was the website's National Player of the Year.

Olson was named the NCAA Sectional MVP for the second consecutive year, after leading Amherst past Stevens Institute of Technology and Rhode Island College. Olson was finally named the NCAA Final Four's Most Outstanding Player and a member of the All-Tournament Team on Saturday after helping Amherst secure the program's first National Championship.

Head Coach David Hixon '75 was also recognized on the national level, earning what can be considered his highest honor for the 2006-07 season. After earning the NABC Regional Coach of the Year, Hixon sealed his case for National Coach of the Year by leading his Lord Jeffs to the first national championship in program history, picking up a pair of what some consider upset victories this past weekend.

Hixon has nothing but the kindest words for Olson's play, calling him the "ultimate point guard". Hixon adds, "He sees the game, he understands the game and he gets the ball where we need him to. "As an added bonus, he can really score when he has to."

The 30-year face of Amherst basketball knows that "Andrew is certainly, and was certainly a key piece to our success and our winning the National Championship. He is a fearless competitor who is willing to take big shots and so typically he makes them as well."