Video Spotlight - Chelsey Olsen

 

 

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LANLGEY, British Columbia – Chelsey Olsen didn’t play a single minute against Victoria.

The Spartans were on the road for two games against the then No. 4 ranked Vikes Jan. 7 and 8 and the first-year from Fanny Bay, B.C. didn’t once get subbed in.

It was her first regular season game on Vancouver Island since graduating from Mark R. Isfeld Secondary and all Olsen did was watch.

But instead of accepting what many rookies would believe to be their first-season fate, Olsen returned to Langley, and with two weeks until Trinity Western’s next game, went to work.

At the time, the 5-foot-8 guard was averaging 5.2 minutes per game in Canada West action and hadn’t scored a point since Nov. 13 against Regina.

So when TWU coach Cheryl Jean-Paul suggested to Olsen her best opportunity to prove herself would be in practice, the younger of the blue and gold wearing sisters – he older sister being Tiffany – took it to heart; even if she didn’t realize it herself.

“I was more assertive in practice,” Olsen said. “I was going harder and challenging myself. Cheryl really wanted me to be confident and assertive out on the court. And I guess I was doing that in practice more but not really realizing it.”

And the following weekend series in Calgary Jan. 21-22, Olsen reaped the benefits.

In Friday’s game against the Dinos, Olsen played 21 minutes and had six points, three steals and two rebounds. She followed that up by playing 18 minutes on Saturday, collecting a career-high eight points and three rebounds before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

“When she [Jean-Paul] put me out on the court, I was half-expecting to come off in a few minutes,” Olsen said. “But a few subs came in and I stayed on the court. It was an opportunity and I took it and made the most of it and it worked out for the better.

“I do feel my confidence has grown, which has allowed me to play harder in practice which carried over to this past weekend.”

For the Spartans only true rookie, it was a break through.

After years of leading her high school and club teams, Olsen came to Trinity Western knowing her role, as a first year, would be vastly different than what she had has a senior at Isfeld .  But even though she knew she wouldn’t be a go-to player right away, it was still a tough fall semester.

“It was hard transitioning from having things revolve around you to going to a new system of play with a completely different group of people,” Olsen said. “And it was difficult getting used to the speed and the physical aspects of the game.

“I was always the vocal leader on my teams and I directed things and people listened to me. And going from that to everyone having more experience than you was a humbling experience but really cool at the same time because now I have a chance to learn from people who know more than me.”

But after that weekend in Calgary, Olsen started to catch on. While she didn’t rack up a ton of points in her final three games, collecting only two the rest of the way, she did manage a career-high seven rebounds against Manitoba and proved to herself, her teammates and her coach that her potential is vast.

And it certainly helps to be playing with a group keen on developing as a unit.

“I think I’m done just learning from myself,” said Olsen, who says she was in fact looking at TWU before her sister made the transfer from Victoria. “I was pretty much the only one in the whole area, and definitely the high school, who took basketball seriously. So I came here knowing I’d be surrounded by people that were all better than me.”

As Olsen prepares for her second season with the Spartans, it’s already been a full summer of hard work and learning. Because this year she has no intention of watching from the sidelines.

-TW-

 

Last Updated: 2011-07-19
Author: Mark Janzen