By: Jared Hines
When Anna Olson announced her commitment to play basketball in college on Aug. 21 via her Instagram account, few people were surprised.
Olson has been a key part to the Monticello basketball team for years and when she was eligible to be recruited, schools began reaching out almost immediately. When all was said and done, Olson decided that the University of Vermont was the right choice for her.
“Vermont reminds me a lot of Minnesota with the exception of the campus being surrounded by mountains,” Olson said. “The coaching staff and players were super welcoming.”
Olson–a Monticello senior–is currently fifth all-time in scoring in Magic girls basketball history and will end up in the top two early into her senior season alongside 2014 graduate Grace Sawatzke. Olson ended the 2018-19 season with 1273 points, only behind Krista Wollhouse (1293), Tish Jude (1301), Jill Zaruba (1365) and Sawatzke (2014). Anna is also a big time presence in the paint where she averaged 13.3 rebounds per game last season and will finish as the only 1000 points, 1000 rebounds player in school history. Magic head coach Craig Geyen said that Vermont is getting a fantastic person and player in Olson.
“Anna is a player who stays level in all situations,” Geyen said. “She never gets too up or down. Anna lets her actions do her talking. Anna has been working this summer on her outside game and ball handling. She attacks the rim with both hands and can finish with both hands.”
Vermont was not the only Division-1 school to send an offer to Olson as the recruiting process continued into last summer. Campbell University in North Carolina and St. Bonaventure in New York also had an interest in Olson as well as Division-2 Mayville State in North Dakota. When Olson visited Vermont, she was lucky enough to stay with a girl from Minnesota, making her feel at home during her time on campus.
“I was able to play some pickup with the team and I really liked the team chemistry because everyone seemed to get along and help each other out,” Olson said. “The coaching staff was also incredibly helpful in the recruiting process.”
Before Olson travels the 1350 miles to Burlington, VT to join Alisa Kresge and her coaching staff, the Magic still have a couple of things they want to accomplish as a team. Monticello finished 13-13 last season, an improvement of seven wins from the season before. Now with Buffalo and St. Michael-Albertville out of the Mississippi 8 Conference–the two top teams from last season–, the Magic will look to compete for a conference championship in the 2019-20 season.