Olander Talks Transfer, Season, Future
When Tyler Olander began his 2009-2010 academic year, he envisioned competing in arguably the most talented league in the country, adjusting to boarding life, and juggling academics and basketball. Five months later, his plans have not panned out as he envisioned, but that hasn’t stopped his drive and passion for the game.
The highly sought after step-out power forward began the year at Worcester Academy, a Class A program in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC), as a reclassified junior, but was unable to contribute to the team due to a nagging thumb injury.
In the following weeks Olander enrolled back at his previous school, E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, Connecticut. While the move came as a big surprise to most, especially college coaches eyeing him for the class of 2011, Olander has not missed a beat since returning to his old stomping ground.
“The transition back has been easy,” says Olander. “The community back home has been welcoming and helpful. There isn’t really any difference between prep and public school besides the size and the academics.”
Olander currently ranks among the top players in New England for the class of 2010, but speculation that he may do a post-grad season next year has college coaches and prep coaches anxiously awaiting his decision.
Despite hid move back to 2010, Olander still seems to have coaches’ interests peeked. He reports being in contact with local perennial powerhouse, Connecticut, as well as Wake Forest, Florida, Virginia, Marquette, Providence, and URI.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do next year. I’m focusing on the season I’m in right now and winning a state championship, and I’ll worry about next year after the season.”
Despite coming off the bench for his first three games at E.0. Smith, the 6’9” forward has made a more than immediate impact averaging 21 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 blocks through 4 games.
While these numbers would be staggering for most, the hungry Olander knows gaining recognition in the shadows of UConn’s Gampel Pavilion takes more than that.
“My goal is to improve my overall game and skill set to be an NBA player,” he said. “I go to the gym everyday wanting to be the best ever to play the game.”
While those ambitions are lofty to say the least, there is no doubt that Olander possesses the tools to have a long and successful career playing the game he loves. But before he takes his game to the next level, there is still one last accolade left to be added to his resume.
“A state championship man. That’s all I want,” said a motivated Olander. “I would be disappointed with anything less than a state title.”
Until that quest ends, college and prep school coaches from around the country will be anxiously awaiting the talented forward’s decision on next year.