Three Amherst Seniors Recognized at National Level

Andrew Olson has played his last collegiate game in LeFrak Gymnasium, but he will once again get a chance to compete on the national stage. 

AMHERST, MA – With successful winter seasons under their belts, three members of the Amherst College basketball programs have once again been recognized on the national level. While Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) earned Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America Honorable Mention plaudits, Fletcher Walters (Ann Arbor, MI) and Andrew Olson (San Diego) have been selected to compete with the best college basketball players in the country later this month.

The WBCA and State Farm announced the 2008 NCAA Division III State Farm Coaches’ All-America Basketball Team, with Pollack receiving Honorable Mention for leading the Lord Jeffs to their best season in program history. Selection committees in each of the eight WBCA geographical regions select 10 of the top women’s basketball players in the nation for the All-America Team, with 30 players earning Honorable Mention. Pollack is one of only two NESCAC players to be honored, as Meg Coffin of Bates College also received Honorable Mention.

Pollack was named to this year’s NESCAC All-Conference First Team and earned a NESCAC Player of the Week honor late in the season for leading the Lord Jeffs to their first-ever conference title and trip to the NCAA Tournament. The senior tri-captain carried her team to a pair of victories in the national tournament, as Amherst finished with a 27-3 record—the best in program history.

The New England Basketball Coaches Association (NEBCA) announced yesterday the players that will compete in the annual Division III Senior All-Star Game, with all proceeds benefiting the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign. Walters, a key contributor to the Amherst men’s basketball team’s success this past season, is one of several stars selected by committees made up of area college coaches.

Walters will team up with players from the NESCAC, CCC, NAC and independent schools to compete against top players from the LEC, GNAC, UAA, NEWMAC and MASCAC conferences. The teams will play at Staake Gymnasium on the campus of Babson College this Sunday, Apr. 13 at 3 p.m. In addition to the All-Star game, there will be a raffle with top prizes including Boston Celtics playoff tickets and Red Sox tickets. Admission to the game is free.

McCarthy Sports, Inc. announced yesterday the 65 players who will compete in the Collegiate Basketball Invitational (CBI) in Wadsworth, Ohio, Apr. 24-26. The CBI is a major national basketball event that will gather the finest 65 senior men's basketball players from all of NCAA Division II and Division III and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Olson, the 2008 NABC National Player of the Year, is one of only seven players from Division III taking part in the tournament, and will play his first game Thursday, Apr. 24 at 2 p.m.

The event will take place at Wadsworth High School and will consist of eight teams of eight players (one team with nine players) in an eight-team tournament. Each team will play a total of three games that will be played Thursday and Friday, culminating with the championship game being played Friday at 8 p.m. The CBI will conclude with an All-Star Game Saturday evening in front of a live, ESPNU audience as 20 players will be selected to play in the game. 

The All-Star Game will consist of the top 20 players from among the 65 players selected to compete at the (CBI). The players at the CBI are the top seniors from all of NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and the NAIA. At the three-day event, players will have the opportunity to compete in front of the professional team representatives, agents and national media, while competing against the best of the best from around the country.

Collegiate Basketball Invitational - MBM Logistics Roster:
Andrew Olson - Amherst (NCAA DIII)
Danny Reeder - Westminster (Utah) (NAIA II)             
Josh Porter - LSU-Shreveport (NAIA I)
Rodney Edgerson - Kentucky Wesleyan (NCAA II)                                    
Willie Irick - Oklahoma City (NAIA I)
Brad Byerson - Virginia Union (NCAA II)
Scooby Johnson - Texas A&M-Commerce (NCAA II)
Ben Strong - Guilford (NCAA III)


2008 NEBCA Division III All Stars (Away Uniforms)
Fletcher Walters (Amherst); Patrick Hasiuk (Trinity); Charles Stone (Connecticut College)
Jordan Fliegal (Bowdoin); Andrew Harris (Middlebury); Chris Shalvoy (Williams); Jake Weitzen (Tufts);
Sherrad Prezzie-Blue (Wentworth); Geoff Baranger (Roger Williams); Chris Vallee (Nichols);
Tim Jones (Curry); Charlie Viana (Johnson State); Nate Hawes (Elms); Rich Reilly (Castleton State);
Arch Mitchell (Newbury); Doug Hammond (Green Mountain); Nick Harrington (Southern Vermont)