Seven-foot Kamloops basketball player making waves - InfoNews

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Seven-foot Kamloops basketball player making waves

Kelly Olynyk of Kamloops is featured on the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated along with fans of his Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball team.
Image Credit: SOURCE/Sports Illustrated
March 20, 2013 - 1:59 PM

By Jennifer Stahn

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have not only made the second round of playoffs again this year - they are being led by Kamloops basketball phenom Kelly Olynyk, who was recently named to the All-America First Team by basketball writers, heralded by U.S.A. President Barack Obama and featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Only 10 players are named to the All-America Team each season and Olynyk is the only player from Gonzaga, and the only Canadian to be named - but he was one of three seven foot players. The honours have kept coming for the junior as Olynyk, with a group of Gonzaga University fans, will be featured on the front cover of Sports Illustrated magazine set to hit newsstands this Friday.

Olynyk has led his Spokane, Washington based team this season with an average of 17.5 points per game. In his freshman year he averaged 12.3 minutes per game and had three double-digit games. In his sophomore year he played for Canada in the world championships in Turkey where he averaged 8.2 points per game. Prior to his college career he played basketball for South Kamloops High was was named outstanding high school player for the province in his senior year.

Known by many in the college basketball scene as the guy with the hair, people around the U.S.A. have been taking notice of him as a serious contender this year, both in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) playoffs and as a contender as a top-14 pick at the annual National Basketball Association draft this summer. He is also a contender for several league awards, including the Wooden Award which honours the top college men's basketball player in the country.

The Bulldogs placed first in the West Coast Division 1 conference this season with a record of 31-2 and had a high of a 14-game winning streak. The team will play against Southern University on Thursday, March 21 in the second round of March Madness playoffs.

To contact a reporter for this story, email or call (250)819-3723.

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