He’s coming home.
Justyn Olson, a former standout basketball player at LaGrange High, spent the 2013-2014 season as a player on the Central Georgia Technical College in Macon.
While he enjoyed that experience, when the opportunity arose to return to LaGrange and play basketball, he jumped at it.
Olson was recruited by LaGrange College out of high school, but he signed with Central Georgia.
After he wrapped up his freshman season at Central Georgia, Olson decided LaGrange College was where he wanted to be, so when the 2014-2015 season rolls around, he will be a Panther.
“It’s awesome,” Olson said of the chance to come back to LaGrange. “It’s good to come back. It was good playing in Macon. It was a good experience. But there’s nothing like coming back to LaGrange and playing. The coaching staff, they’re great, and LaGrange College is a great school. I know that me graduating from LaGrange College is going to mean something. It’s going to be a plus all the way around.”
Olson joins a program on the rise.
Last season, the Panthers won the USA South tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III national tournament.
Many of the players responsible for that success are back, and Olson is looking forward to being a part of that group.
“They all seem like a family. They’re unified,” Olson said. “It’s not just me, I’m doing this. It’s we’re going to do this together. If you have that, and you have talent, it’s hard to beat a team like that. I think we’re going to have a shot, to at least do what we did last year.”
Olson’s family moved from Kentucky when he was a sophomore, and he jumped right in and became a key part of the LaGrange basketball program.
When Olson was a senior, the Grangers won a region championship and advanced to the second round of the state tournament.
When he was exploring different college options, Olson decided Central Georgia would be a nice fit.
The team had a successful season, making it to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament.
“It was a good experience,” Olson said. “We went to nationals. It was fun playing with that type of talent. It was really good. I really enjoyed it.”
Olson had some big games with the team, and there were other times where he didn’t play that much.
“Some games I was the guy they needed to step up, and other games it would be someone else,” Olson said. “And it’s like that with basketball. That’s just how the sport is.”
Olson said it was an overall positive experience.
“You have stages of life, and I learned from it, and I’ll take what I learned there and go to LaGrange College with it,” Olson said.
Olson said he is looking forward to playing for LaGrange College head coach Kendal Wallace, as well as assistant coach David McGreal.
“I think they’ll be fun to play for,” Olson said. “They make it more like a family atmosphere. They’re still going to push you, and they’re going to make you be your best, but it seems like they’re a family together. That’s a big thing you need to have in a team.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 (ext. 232) or on Twitter @lagrangesports