Oleson fends off Father Time, remains relevant in Europe

November 1, 2016

Brad Oleson basketball

Brad Oleson

That old junkyard dog is still in the old man.

North Pole’s Brad Oleson is still getting after opposing defenses in his 13th professional basketball season, much the same way he did back in the day at the University of Alaska Fairbanks when he chewed up the competition like a bone.

Even at 33, he hasn’t let up.

Tough and tenacious, Oleson remains one of the top shooters in the Euroleague and a key component to the success of Spanish power Barcelona as a starting shooting guard averaging double figures.

The team’s second-oldest player scored 11 points on almost perfect shooting in this week’s 78-75 win over Fuenlabrada. His only miss was on his lone 3-point attempt; other than that, he was 4-for-4 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the foul line.

The 6-foot-3 veteran added four rebounds, two assists and a steal as Barcelona improved to 4-1 in Spain’s top league.

Oleson, of North Pole High fame, is averaging 10.1 points on 53 percent shooting from the floor. He’s also making 92 percent of his free throws and grabbing 3.6 rebounds and dishing 1.8 assists per game.

Barcelona isn’t just one of the best teams in Spain but all of Europe as a perennial contender in the celebrated Euroleague, the closeist thing to the NBA. In 2014, Oleson helped Barcelona reach the semifinals.

In terms of his Euroleague career, Oleson ranks No. 2 among Alaskans with 130 games, 877 points and shooting percentages for 2-pointers [49%], 3-pointers [39%] and free throws [82%]. That stretches eight seasons.

Oleson is the best Alaska basketball player not to play in the NBA.

He showcased his world-class talent in an exhibition game against the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder just last month when he produced 10-4-2 totals in a 92-89 loss in which he looked ageless against players much younger.