Andrew Olson, Amherst College

Andrew Olson was named the 2008 National Player of the Year by the NABC after sharing the honor in 2007. The NABC Player of the Year distinction is the final feather in Olson’s cap, and closes the door on an amazing career at Amherst College. Olson is the point guard for which all future players at Amherst will be compared to, as he left campus this past spring with his named etched all over the program’s illustrious record book while staying true to his unselfish and humble personality.

Olson helped tie the Amherst mark for most all-time wins by a graduating class, as the Class of 2008 posted an eye-popping four-year record of 111-12. The Class of 2008 went 34-2 in NESCAC play under Olson’s leadership, and had an amazing 65-4 record at home over four seasons. In 2007, Olson played a vital role in leading Amherst to the program’s first ever national championship, bringing the team back to the title game in 2008.

While Olson had a knack for making the big shot and scoring in general, he was known best for his passing ability. Olson graduated with the top single-game assist mark (15) in Amherst history, as well as top three single-season marks (243, 223, and 179) and the all-time career record of 758. His 758 career helpers place him sixth all time in NCAA Division III history. Olson exits Amherst ranked 12th in program history in scoring with 1,238 points, and is just the second player in NESCAC history to break both the 1,000 point and 700 assist plateaus.

Olson won too many awards in his four years to mention, and has won nearly every major NESCAC, regional and national honor. Highlights include, but are not limited to, a pair of NESCAC Player of the Year awards (2007 & 2008), a trio of NCAA Sectional MVP honors (2006-2008), a pair of Final Four All-Tournament Team honors (2007 & 2008), and a combined four NABC and All-America First Team awards. In 2007 and 2008, Olson was named a finalist for the prestigious Bob Cousy Award, which honors the best point guard in all of collegiate basketball.

As a political science major, Olson had a 3.0 grade point average at Amherst and was active in the community. Olson and the Lord Jeffs welcomed Project Coach to Amherst last winter, in addition to visiting local elementary schools to read to children. He is also quick to note that one of the best parts of his trips to the Final Four is the chance to go to a school in Salem and read to local children.