Senior verbally commits to St. Olaf College

Sophie Olmen to play Division III basketball


Used with permission Selee Olmen

Sadie Yarosh

After playing high school basketball for five years, senior Sophie Olmen said she decided to commit to the St. Olaf basketball program because she enjoyed every aspect of the college.

“I chose St. Olaf because it just felt like the right place. I toured it twice, and I loved everything about it,” Olmen said.

According to junior Shayla Miller, she is thrilled about Olmen’s commitment and that she is able to continue playing basketball after high school.

“I know (basketball) is something that’s really fun for her and makes her happy, I’m glad she can continue that for the next four years,” Miller said.

Coach Arsenio Richardson said Olmen was a player that the team could rely on and her experience of being apart of the varsity team for four years contributed to Park’s successful season.

“Sophie was one of our point guards, a main ball handler (and) a strong defender. We could always depend on her to go in and guard multiple positions. Her senior leadership in playing multiple years on varsity helped us out with the success that we had,” Richardson said.

According to Olmen, she began playing basketball because of encouragement from her family and growing up in a household where basketball was very important.

“I started playing in kindergarten in a rec league. My family is big on basketball, so they made me start playing,” Olmen said.

Miller said the time Olmen put into basketball and her perseverance is what led her to be an exceptional player.  

“Her work ethic and time commitment to the sport makes her a good basketball player. Also, her basketball IQ and knowledge of the game helps a lot too,” Miller said.

Richardson said Olmen’s ability to be great at basketball while still being dedicated to her other sports is what makes her special.

“It’s unique that she was committed to all her sports during those seasons, and she was still really good (at basketball). Also her overall toughness, I know she had dealt with some injuries, and she just overcame those and never complained or argued about anything — just came to work everyday,” Richardson said.

According to Olmen, she is looking forward to getting to know new people at St. Olaf and continue her involvement with basketball.

I’m excited to meet new people, get a good education and continue playing sports,” Olmen said.

According to Richardson, he hopes in college Olmen will focus her attention on just basketball and is eager to see how that will affect her game.

“I hope that she finally gets to focus on basketball (and) not being selfish. Now that she’s going to school to play basketball, it’ll be a time where she’s just working on that. It’s going to be exciting to see how good she’ll be when she’s really focused on basketball,” Richardson said.