Newest Bulldog: Shawn Oliverson

Shawn Oliverson, who last played for Cornell in 2005, said he arrived in Ruston on Saturday. "It is kind of a shock to be back in school and to be back in basketball," Shawn said. "Everything is going well and this is a great group of guys." Shawn said he really liked Magnum Rolle and "Big Coop" (Kenny Cooper) and he can't wait to get started with the team.

Contrary to his bio on other websites, Shawn was named first team all state as a senior in high school after averaging double digits in points and rebounds and averaging four blocks per contest. Shawn was named a top 10 center in the West according to Prep West and a top 250 player nationally according to Galaxy of Stars. Preston won the state championship during Shawn's senior year after finishing the season 24-0.

After spending two years on his church mission, Shawn returned home in November. He and his family attended the Louisiana Tech game against Utah State last week in Logan. Oliverson admitted that this year's team was a little overmatched, but he was very impressed with their play. "They played really hard and you could tell they were very well coached. I was real impressed with the game plan."

Mike Oliverson, Shawn's dad, is also impressed with Coach Rupp and his staff. "I had heard about Louisiana Tech because they are in the WAC, but I have known Coach Rupp and Coach Condie since Shawn used to go to all of the camps. They are very genuine, high character guys and you know they are doing things the right way."

"Shawn had a few schools calling him when he came home," Mike recalled. "I googled Coach Condie and saw that he was at Louisiana Tech and that the Head Coach was Kerry Rupp. Coach Condie had always said that Coach Rupp would be a great Head Coach one day and a very good person to work for. Coach Rupp is known as a great teacher and I know he is a great person to entrust with your son."

Mike was also pleased with the advice that Shawn received from Coach Condie. "He told Shawn to take care of his church mission first and basketball would take care of itself. After Shawn came home, Coach Condie told us that not only did they need men of great size but also of great character. I really feel like he is in the right place." Coach Rupp and Coach Condie really understand the church mission process and Coach Condie has been instrumental in helping Shawn go through the process of getting back into school.

Both Shawn and his dad are really excited about Tech and the promise of tomorrow. Mike wants to visit the campus as soon as possible and wants his other two sons to get to know more about the school as well. Shane, a junior in high school, is a 6'4" 260 lb. tackle on the football team, and his younger brother Casey stands 6'8" and is in the eighth grade. Casey plans on attending the Kerry Rupp basketball camp this summer.

Mike Oliverson added that he feels like nutrition and exercise are very important and that he has tried to instill that in all of his sons. In just his first week on campus, Shawn has impressed many with his strength and his work ethic. He seems like a great fit for Louisiana Tech. I am very excited to have him in Ruston, he comes across as a very nice guy and you can tell he comes from a great family.

On a parting note, I told Shawn I had to ask him about Napoleon Dynamite. The film was shot at his school and Shawn is credited with appearing as one of the students in the auditorium. He said he signed up to appear but after waiting three hours, he got tired of sitting and left. I thanked him for saving me from renting it just so I could look for him. Shawn admitted he gets asked about all the time, so I thought one more time wouldn't hurt.

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