Olson is Second Straight Lord Jeff Named Josten's Trophy Finalist

Andrew Olson Named Finalist for
The 2008 Josten's Trophy
SALEM, VA – The Rotary Club of Salem, Va announced the finalists for the prestigious 2008 Josten’s Trophy yesterday afternoon, which is awarded annually to the best men’s and women’s basketball players in the NCAA’s Division III. For the second consecutive season, a member of the top-ranked Lord Jeff men’s basketball team was named to the field of ten finalists.

Following in the footsteps of last year’s captain Dan Wheeler ’07 (Bloomington, MN), senior captain Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) was named to the list of distinguished finalists. Olson is the only finalist, either male or female, to be named from the NESCAC this season.

The Jostens Trophy is a national award created by the Rotary Club of Salem, Va., to honor the most outstanding men’s and women’s Division III basketball players of the year. The award takes into account three vital parts: basketball ability, academic prowess and community service. The trophy models the Rotary motto of “Service above Self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded Division III student-athlete. This year’s class marks the 11th year the award has been presented.
Olson is one of the most decorated players in program history, and this season is no different. Last year he was named the NABC Regional and National Player of the Year, and was named a First Team All-American by both the NABC and D3Hoops.com. As a two-time finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, Olson was also the 2007 NESCAC Player of the Year, and the starting point guard for the national champions.

Head Coach David Hixon ’75 is no stranger to having standout players in his program, but is quick to praise the accomplishments for which Olson is being recognized. “Andrew’s character defines what the Josten’s Trophy is about. He is a both a spectacular player and extremely unselfish.” Becoming only the second player in NESCAC history to score 1,000 points and dish out 700 assists illustrates Hixon’s sentiments.

Hixon adds that “Andrew is a terrific leader both on and off the court, and in his community.” The coach explains that “no other player in Division III has experienced the level of success Andrew has over that past four years, but he has remained unbelievably humble, without losing the fire for another title run.”

Olson is involved with numerous
community engagements.

As a political science major, Olson has a 3.0 grade point average at Amherst. He is also very active in the community, and is quick to take advantage of opportunities to give back. Olson was involved in Project Coach this winter on campus, and is going with teammates to local elementary schools to read to children this week. He is also quick to note that one of the best parts of his two trips to the Final Four is the chance to go to a school in Salem and read to local children.

The Rotary Club is responsible for the initial review of annual nominations and narrowed the pool to 10 men and 10 women finalists. The list found below will be forwarded to the 32-person national selection committee, which will complete the selection process by picking the two Jostens Trophy winners.

The Finalists are as follows:
The men's finalists: Jake Baldwin, Piedmont; Jimmy Bartolotta, MIT; Greg Bienemann, Washington and Lee; Andrew Olson, Amherst; Kent Raymond, Wheaton; Troy Ruths, Washington U.; Ben Strong, Guilford; Anthony Williams, Plattsburgh State; Tyler Winford, Mississippi College; Trevor Wittwer, Gustavus Adolphus.

The women's finalists: Leigh Ann Burke, DeSales; Colleen Feeney, Bridgewater State; Liz Hickey, Mary Washington; Lindsay Ippel, Millikin; Nikki Lobach, Messiah; Tarra Richardson, McMurry; Megan Scheele, Edgewood; Katie Streck, Wilmington; Jess Vadnais, Gustavus Adolphus; Katelyn Whiton, Simpson.

Final ballots are due no later than March 7 with the winning schools notified on March 10. The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 20 at the Salem Civic Center in conjunction with the Men’s Division III Championship being hosted in Salem, Va., on March 21-22.