Soren Frantz / Photo Editor

Senior for the Keene State men’s basketball team Ben Olson is graduating this May. This season, Olson, a center on the team, has been assisting the team by averaging 4.8 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game.  

Olson stated that the team’s Elite Eight run was one of the highlights of his career.

“My fondest memory was back in the 2016-17 season when we were making the Elite Eight run,” said Olson. “Just getting passed down all the insight and character that senior class had really impacted my last three years. There are so many memories with those now alums that really taught me how to play hard and channel my heart and passion while being a good person and leader.”

Olson, when asked about his stay at Keene State, said it was enjoyable.

“Playing here at Keene has been an incredible experience,” said Olson. “I’ve learned how to push through adversity whether it’s in practice, where the coach was pushing us hard to get better, or during droughts in games, where you just put your nose to the grindstone and keep plugging away. It’s taught me how to manage time, as being a collegiate athlete as it is very time-consuming. You have to balance athletics, academics and social life. Playing here has really pushed me to be the best person I can be, and [showed me] that there is always something to work toward every day you wake up.”

Olson also said he will miss the community and comradery he shared with his supporters at Keene State.

“After I leave, I will miss the people and the community that supported me through some of the toughest but best years of my life,” said Olson. “Whether it was the coaches, my fellow players, family or the members of the community, I always could count on support every step of the way. It really pushed me to work hard and know I was working for something bigger than myself. There’s such a great support system here at Keene State and you can feel it just walking down Appian Way, and it makes you feel at home; that’s what I’ll miss most.”

Men’s basketball head coach Ryan Cain explained what Olson meant to the team.

“Ben Olson has grown tremendously as a player, student and person through his four years at Keene State,” said Cain. “It has been a pleasure watching him mature on and off the court and I look forward to following his success following graduation. He plays as hard as anyone that we have had in my five years and sacrifices his body for the team. He is talented and is a capable scorer in the post, but his values go way behind his skills. He is a role model on and off the court for everyone on our roster and on our campus. We will miss Ben as a player, but we will miss his character as a teammate and person even more.”

Keene State College Athletic Director Philip Racicot said Ben was a great example of a student-athlete.

“When asked about what being a student-athlete is about at Keene State, Ben Olson is an outstanding example,” said Racicot. “On the court, he is both a leader and a great teammate who plays as hard at practice as he does in games… helping to set the expectation of the effort needed to succeed. He has balanced the demands of being a student-athlete very successfully in the classroom as well. We have been very fortunate to have someone of his caliber in our program and I have no doubt that Ben will do great things in the future.”

Jeremy Landers can be contacted

at jlanders@kscequinox.com