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Elgin Park grad selected to play basketball with Vancouver Bandits

UBC Thunderbird Adam Olsen chosen by Bandits 4th overall in 1st round of CEBL entry draft event
UBC Thunderbird Adam Olsen, left, in action vs. Trinity Western University Spartans earlier this year. The Elgin Park grad was chosen by the Bandits fourth overall in the first round Thursday (April 11). (Jacob Mallari/UBC Athletics photo)

A South Surrey basketball player has been drafted by the Vancouver Bandits for its 2024 season.

Adam Olsen, a former Elgin Park Orca, now studies at the University of British Columbia and plays for the UBC Thunderbirds. He was drafted fourth overall in the first round, the Bandits announced Thursday (April 11), in the sixth annual Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) Draft.

“One of the reasons I went to UBC was to get on the Bandits, but I thought that would be a couple years down the line, so it feels really good that I got this opportunity the first year,” Olsen said Sunday (April 14).

“I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Bandits family this summer. It is a great chance to grow my game and learn from a strong group of professionals who are committed to winning and building something special together.”

A 6-foot-7 swingman, Olsen recently completed his freshman season with the Thunderbirds, where he appeared in 20 contests (three starts) and averaged 17.8 minutes, 8.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 three-pointers made per game, a Vancouver Bandits release noted.

READ ALSO: Semiahmoo, Elgin Park advance to provincial basketball semifinals

He was named to the Canada West all-rookie team following his impressive debut as a university freshman this past season. Prior to UBC, Olsen starred at Elgin Park Secondary, where he led the Orcas to a second-place finish at the Triple A provincial championship in 2022.

No stranger to playing on big stages, Olsen also suited up as a starter for British Columbia’s under-18 provincial team that earned a silver medal at the Canada Games in the summer of 2022.

He’s looking forward to playing basketball all summer with the Bandits, who play out of the Langley Events Centre in the CEBL’s May through August season.

“I’m looking forward to it being every day – I don’t have to go and try and find places to shoot, I have a constant place to work out and shoot, and trainers working with me. It will be fun,” Olsen, who turns 19 in September, said.

Now back at the Ocean Park home where he grew up after being at UBC for the school year, he still has at least one more final to finish before his academic year is done, but he’s enjoying his studies – which include business and political science classes – so far.

“We are thrilled for Adam to be drafted by the Vancouver Bandits. It is an amazing opportunity for Adam and we appreciate the Bandits identifying him as someone that they want involved in their team and their organization. Adam is an elite three-point shooter that has deep range and can really stretch the defense,” said UBC Thunderbirds head coach Kevin Hanson.

“It is great to see the Bandits drafting local university talent and giving them the opportunity to play in the CEBL. Having the opportunity to play against professionals all summer bodes well for Adam’s development heading into the 2025 U SPORTS National Championships that UBC is hosting in March.”

Olsen was drafted along with two other players who hail from the Lower Mainland, Jerric Palma and Connor Platz.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to work with all three of our draft picks this summer. The goal for our organization is to grow the game from the grassroots level and up. We want to help produce more professional players from B.C. and drafting talented local players is fundamental in the process,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Kyle Julius.

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’m a lifelong writer, and worked as a journalist in community newspapers for more than a decade, from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey, from 2001-2012
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