Andrew Olson '08
Photo by Charlie Quigg '09
Junior Andrew Olson has earned virtually every award in the book for his outstanding 2006-07 season

Olson Named NABC National Co-Player of the Year; Hixon Named National Coach of the Year

By Alex Kantor

March 21, 2007

AMHERST, MA – The National Association of Basketball Coaches named Amherst junior point guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) the 2007 NABC National Player of the Year this afternoon alongside junior Guilford center Ben Strong. The two players were each named NABC Regional Player of the Year for their respective districts for their 2006-07 seasons.

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. The 5’10” guard has been increasingly compared to NBA MVP Steve Nash for his similar stature and hair, as well as his knack for the impressive pass.

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 given what can be considered the highest honor on his list of awards from this season, as he was named the NABC National Coach of the Year after earning Regional Coach of the Year honors last week.

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.”

Olson will receive his award on Sunday, April 1, at the annual NABC Awards Show presented by AT & T at the Sydney Marcus Auditorium at the Georgia World Congress Center at 6 p.m.