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Boys Athlete of the Week: North Hall's Griffin Olson

Trojans senior averaged 21 points in two games last week

POSTED: November 26, 2012 9:03 p.m.

North Hall boys basketball coach Benjie Wood was eager to find a No. 2 scorer to take some pressure off senior Ebo Smith this season. Through two games, it looks like senior shooting guard Griffin Olson might be that guy.

Olson scored 20 in a win against Providence Christian on Monday, followed by 21 on Tuesday in a win against Cass. For his efforts, Olson is The Times Boys Athlete of the Week.

“It felt great to have a pair of games like that,” Olson said. “It’s good to have my hard work paying off.”

Both games for Olson were a result of a fast start. Against Providence, he scored about 12 points in the first quarter; then against Cass, it was a layup, and a steal and layup on the other end early that snowballed into another quick start.

Olson said that he was shooting 3-pointers equally well each night, hitting about three in each game.

Wood said that in his time as a starter, Olson has become a well-rounded player. He understands the game plan and what the team expects from him. On top of that, Olson’s confidence has grown. North Hall’s coach says that Olson is much more valuable on the floor now than when he came into the program as a pure shooter.

“His confidence has really grown,” Wood said. “He really understands what’s happening on the floor now.”

Now with Olson getting off to a fast start, Wood knows it will be much more difficult for the opposition to simply key in on Smith (19 points, four rebounds per game last season). Olson says with the entire starting five back from last season, one of the only things they desire now is more depth from the younger players.

“I feel like we’ll definitely make it back to the playoffs this year,” said Olson, who averaged 10 points and four rebounds a game last season. “How far we go will depend on our execution and playing well in the tight games.”

Wood is not at all surprised that Olson has emerged as such a great complement to Smith. North Hall’s coach knows his development is a by-product of Olson’s work ethic. Olson is in the gym in the morning, then again during lunch and one final time again in the afternoon.

“Griffin’s a very competitive player,” Wood said.

It’s the kind of schedule that Olson kept during the fall and was able to keep as he transitioned into basketball season.

Olson, who is already signed to play baseball at Piedmont College, would also like to play basketball at the next level. While that opportunity is not on the table yet, Olson says that his coach is going to try to have Piedmont’s coach in house to watch him play in person.

“I’d love to play both sports in college,” Olson said. “If the chance is there, I’ll take it.”

North Hall plays host to Lanier tonight. The Trojans were the region runner-up last season in 8-AAA last season.
The Trojans host East Hall on Dec. 7 to open Region 7-AAA play.

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