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Blue Hawk Courtney Olson soars high in seasonal performance

Dickinson State women's basketball program currently sits in third in the North Star Athletic Association with heavy contributions from senior Courtney Olson.

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Courtney Olson earns national recognition after scoring a career high of 38.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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Some athletes prefer individual sports with the pressure on just their shoulders when in competition, but others prefer the experience of building a fellowship with teammates all looking to achieve one goal. This is the type of athlete that Courtney Olson prides herself of being, despite the accolades she has earned from her skillsets alone.

It has been a remarkable season with great strides for Dickinson State’s senior forward Olson as of late, breaking personal records and receiving national attention from the NAIA. However, the achievements she has completed with her team is second to none in Olson’s eyes.

“It feels good, but also that kind of stuff doesn't matter to me,” Olson said. “I am here for the team and I want to make the team better so whatever is good for the team is what I am going for.”

Olson was recognized on Jan. 25 as the NAIA player of the week. This came after scoring a career-high 38 points against Mayville State on Jan. 22 in a 78-76 win. The 38 points ties Olson for the Dickinson State record for most points in a single game. The record dates back to the 1997 and 1992 seasons held by Carey Waldal and Melani Lowman-Walton, respectively.

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Blue Hawks head coach Eric Nelson mentioned that Olson has over 1600 in career points and will break the free throw and free throws attempted record in a season by the end of the year.

“She was kind of that post person that we hadn't had in the past so when I got the job she was one of my first recruits out of Bismarck State,” Nelson said. “And has really kind of helped us offensively get easier baskets and open looks. The other team has a game plan that is completely centered around her to try and take her away. that opens up shots for everybody else. It's been a huge thing for us . We wouldn't be where we are today without her.”

Olson came to Dickinson State two years ago after transferring from Bismarck State College. The transition came with its difficulties, but Olson did not just fall in line. Instead she offered up her experience and learned how to effectively communicate with her team.

“As a player I like to push the floor and when I first came a lot of them didn't, so now they know how I play and so they push the ball to me… I feed off of what my teammates give me. If they are getting hyped up, then I am going to get all hyped up. Whenever someone makes the first shot, that's when I'm like, ‘Okay, here we go!’ That is the kind of stuff I like.”

As a naitve of Mandan, Olson has been able to count on the support of family, friends and past coaches to cheer her on and have had their contribution to motivating her in her success.

“A lot of the people that support me still come out and support me,” Olson said. “It's great. I love it because I can look into the stands and see all the people who have been there since I was in high school or college… I look up and see my parents who have been there since second grade.”

Olson’s 2021-22 stats include a field goal percentage of 38.7, 33 percent from three-point range and an astounding 84 percent at the foul line. The senior forward expressed two goals for the remainder of the season and both are centered around her team and her community.

“Making it to the championship game is one of my biggest goals,” Olson said. “Another goal I have is to make an impact on the little kids out here. They all look up to me and I am just trying to be a good role model.”

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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