NABC Selects Olson and Walters for Regional Awards; Olson Named All-American Once Again

Olson2|
Olson was named an NABC
First Team All-American once again.

AMHERST, MA – The National Association of Basketball Coaches released both the Division III All-District teams and State Farm All-America teams this afternoon. Amherst seniors Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) and Fletcher Walters (Ann Arbor, MI) each received Regional accolades as First-Team members, while Olson was named the Northeast’s Player of the Year en route to an All-America First-Team selection.

Walters, Olson and the rest of the Lord Jeffs are currently in Salem, Virginia and in final preparations for the 2008 NCAA Division III Final Four. This weekend marks the fourth time in five years that Amherst has reached the National Semifinals, and the third consecutive season that Walters and Olson have visited the Salem Civic Center.

On Monday, the Amherst one-two punch was named to the NCAA All-Sectional Team for their play in wins over Richard Stockton and Brandeis. Walters and Olson also appeared side-by-side on the 2007-08 All-NESCAC First Team.

For Walters, a three-time recipient of the NESCAC Player of the Week award, regional recognition is new this season as the 6’8” swingman is experiencing career highs and team-leading marks in both scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg).
Walters has led the Jeffs in scoring on nine occasions, in rebounding on 16 occasions, and recorded a team-high eight double-doubles.

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Fletcher Walters has made waves
around the nation this season.

Olson was named the Sectional MVP for the third straight year after grabbing his second straight NESCAC Player of the Year award. Olson was also a finalist for the Josten’s Trophy and is a two-time finalist for the Bob Cousy Award. As the NABC Regional Player of the Year, Olson will be a strong candidate for the National Player of the Year award, which he shared with Guilford’s Ben Strong in 2007.  

When reflecting on what this weekend means for him, Olson explains that the experience is “somewhat bitter-sweet.” The four-year starter continues to add that, “making the Final Four is what you want to do, but you also know that your season is going to come to end this weekend one way or another.”

Walters echoes the sentiments from Olson, adding that he thinks “we have a great shot to go all the way and win it all again this weekend, but even then, I will know that my time at Amherst will be over.”

Olson also adds that he and Walters “have been lucky to gain such accolades recently, but that none of this would be possible without the help of our teammates and especially our classmates. Matt Goldsmith, Brandon Jones and Kevin Hopkins have been here every step of the way, as roommates, friends and teammates.”

The Lord Jeffs will tip-off against Ursinus College tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s National Championship game at 4 p.m., live on CSTV. Wash. U-St. Louis and Hope College will play in the other semifinal tomorrow at 7 p.m.


2008 STATE FARM DIVISION III ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM

Matt Byrnes, Rowan University
Matt Goodwin, UW Whitewater
Andrew Olson, Amherst College
Kent Raymond, Wheaton (Ill.) College
Nick Shattuck, Ursinus College.
Ben Strong, Guilford College
Marcus Vanderheide, Hope College
Anthony Williams, SUNY Plattsburgh


NABC Division III All-District Northeast

First Team        
Andrew Olson, Amherst College *
Dan Holbrook, UMass Dartmouth    
Antoine Coleman, WPI        
Joe Coppens, Brandeis University    
Fletcher Walters, Amherst College    
Dylan Holmes, Salem State College

* - Player of the Year