SCHOOL: South Kamloops
FRESHMAN'S FUTURE: Gonzaga
When Kelly Olynyk strolled into The Province's photo studios last month for his Head of the Class photo session, one piece of his required wardrobe was conspicuously absent.
"I didn't bring a jacket," he explained. "We couldn't find one that fit."
Standing close to 6-foot-11 and weighing 205 pounds, the basketball phenom from the South Kamloops Secondary Titans is entirely comfortable taking the ball to the rack. But buying off the rack is an entirely different matter, which Olynyk discovered as he went on a hunt at several Kamloops menswear stores before his trek to Vancouver.
Yet over a senior season in which he dominated the opposition like perhaps no other player in provincial championship history, no one wore his stature more comfortably than Olynyk, who begins his NCAA Div. I career in the fall at powerhouse Gonzaga University in Spokane.
Olynyk -- who led his team to a third-place finish and earned tourney MVP honours -- became the first player in the 64-year history of the B.C. Triple A championships to lead the field in scoring (36.5 points per game), rebounding (15.5 rpg) and assists (7.2 apg). He also tied for the lead in blocked shots (3.5 bpg).
It's even more impressive when you consider that Olynyk broke his left shoulder while quarterbacking the Titans in a playoff game in his Grade 11 year, a setback that caused him to miss his entire Grade 11 hoops season. And while that injury healed, Olynyk just kept growing.
He went from 6-foot-3 in Grade 10 to 6-foot-10 to start his Grade 12 year. Yet he never lost a hint of his coordination.
"We have one room in our house that is just filled with bins on bins of clothing," he explains of his barely-worn but outgrown duds. "There's buckets of stuff. T-shirts. Shorts. Socks. Shirts. Jackets. You look at it and you think a year ago you were wearing this stuff. Then you try it on. But it also shows you how much you have grown as a person and what you have become."
So for the big guy, we say, 'No jacket required.'
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