Oleson begins season with Barcelona, his 13th in pro hoops

October 4, 2016

Brad Oleson basketball

Brad Oleson

North Pole’s Brad Oleson kicked off his 13th professional basketball in grand fashion.

The 33-year-old starting guard scored 10 points in 29 minutes as Barcelona beat Manresa 56-50 in a low-scoring affair to open league play.

He added three assists, two rebounds and a blocked shot.

Oleson, of North Pole High fame, is in his fifth season with Barcelona, a perennial power in La Liga.

Last season the 6-foot-3 combo guard averaged 5.2 points and just 15.4 minutes per game in mostly reserve duty.

His 3-point shooting percentage was .442 – tops on the team.

Barcelona advanced to the Spanish League Finals last year but lost to arch rival Real Madrid.

Oleson competes for minutes in the backcourt against guys that have NBA experience, were drafted by the NBA or played big-time NCAA D1 basketball.

When the Alaskan arrived in Spain in 2006 he was a virtual nobody out of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His only professional experience was a season with Dodge City of the United States Basketball League, which no longer exists.

But Oleson made a name for himself in Spain.

He started in the country’s second division with Rosalia before being promoted to the premier league with Caja Laboral.

In 2010, he led underdog Caja Laboral to a surprising sweep of Barcelona in the league finals. A few years later, Barcelona traded for Oleson and together they won a championship in 2014.