loren Eric Swanson: Senior's Contribution will be Missed

Friday, February 24, 2006

Senior's Contribution will be Missed

This article was in today's UNC Paper. Really proud of my future son-in-law...

Senior’s contributions will be missed
By Remi Reverchon
University of Colordado Mirror
February 24, 2006

Bored and need something to do to kill some time? Here’s an idea: try to find someone on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado who does not like Erik Olson. But be aware that it might take you a while. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, the UNC men’s basketball team will put an end to its season by playing host to Utah Valley State at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. Olson, along with walk-on guard Chris Gebhardt, will be honored in a pre-game ceremony. Like any other senior, the 6-foot-4 forward will probably feel a little nostalgic as he enters the court. Everyone who has had the opportunity to meet him will also feel the nostalgia. “Erik is the man,” said junior Matt Kline, one of Olson’s teammates. “From a personal standpoint, you won’t find a better guy.” Olson arrived at UNC in 2002. Back then, the Bears were still in Division II and he was also a member of the baseball team. After a promising first season, a major event would occur: the team started its transition to Division I. With better recruits coming in, tougher opponents to play and a coaching staff more demanding, his sophomore year could have been his last one. “There is an old saying that says competition brings success,” Olson said. “So I just worked even harder and tried to deserve my spot.” Not the most talented basketball player on the team, the 21-year old still managed to be one of the most important pieces in the Bears’ system during his four years. After leading the team in rebounds during his sophomore season (7.1 boards per game), Olson impressed all with his athleticism. “In everything he does, Erik is an overachieving person,” UNC coach Craig Rasmuson said. Captain of the team for the past three seasons, Olson has been the moral leader of the Bears for a long time. His performances on the court earned his teammates’ respect. “He is not very vocal, he is not going to yell, but he will make his point by showing the example,” Rasmuson said. “And believe me, in the locker room when he speaks, everybody listens.” Olson knows when it is time to loosen up, and junior guard Matt Kline is there to confirm it. “Erik is a prankster, he is always messing with people,” Kline said. Of all the experiences Olson has had over the years, his favorite could surprise some. Is it the game against Longwood last year, when he scored 32 points, shooting a perfect 12 of 12? Or maybe the opportunity to play against teams like Oklahoma, Kansas or Gonzaga? Nope. “We were on the road in Los Angeles where the hotel opened to a pool area,” Olson said. “We had a basket full of apples, and we started throwing them from the balcony to the pool, just like kids. We got caught by security, but it’s the kind of thing you will always remember.” At the end of the year, Olson will graduate with a degree in business marketing and will be marrying Kacey Swanson. “My fiancée has been crucial to me in helping me through many of the tough times that I have faced in my career,” he said. After one final game, it will be time to put the jersey back in the closet. Even if he plans on staying around Greeley, people will miss Olson’s charisma. And if you actually find someone who does not like Olson, pinch yourself. You must be dreaming.


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