Men's Basketball Signs Shawn Olden, Oklahoma Prep Player of the Year
Pepperdine has now signed four freshmen for the 2014-15 season.
April 16, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - Oklahoma state player of the year Shawn Olden has signed a national letter-of-intent to attend Pepperdine University and join the men's basketball team, head coach Marty Wilson announced as the spring signing period got underway on Wednesday.
Olden recently received the Willis Mackey Player of the Year Award, given to the state's top player by the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association. He was also named the Most Valuable Player of Oklahoma's Class 6A state tournament after leading Tulsa Union High School to a state title last month.
"We are pleased to add Shawn to our basketball family," Wilson said. "His ability to score, shoot the three and create are all skills that we value. He is also a very active defender that can cause havoc for opponents at the other end. Shawn is an impressive young man who will be a great fit here at Pepperdine."
Olden is a 6-foot-3 guard. The left-hander averaged 18.9 points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals during his senior season. Olden was also a member of The Oklahoman's Super 5 (a list of the state's top five players) and was named the Tulsa World's All-Metro Player of the Year and the Frontier Conference Player of the Year. He will play in the Oklahoma Coaches Association all-star game this summer.
"I want to come in and compete right away," Olden said. "I can't wait to get there in June. I can't speak highly enough about Pepperdine's coaches. They've built a family atmosphere and everyone's on the same page. They're doing a great job of building the program. I felt good during the recruiting process, with them getting to know me as a person and getting to know my family. Plus, Pepperdine is a great school."
Olden averaged 19.7 points during the state tournament, and had 20 points and nine rebounds in the championship game against Putnam City West. The Redskins finished with a 27-2 record and won their second state title in three years. At the end of the season Union High was ranked 15th nationally by MaxPreps.
"Shawn is a great kid and someone you don't have to worry about," Union High Coach Rudy Garcia said. "He can score, shoot, get to the rim and finish, and play defense. He did a lot for us. He was a kid who was overlooked in the recruiting process and Pepperdine is fortunate to get someone like him. He's still got a lot of room to improve so his upside is exciting."
Olden was a two-year starter for Tulsa Union and earned all-conference honors as a junior after averaging 13 points per game. He also was a member of Union's state championship team his sophomore year.
One of his teammates, Josh Davis, signed a national letter-of-intent with the Pepperdine baseball team in the fall.
Lloyd Hudson, Olden's mentor and coach with the Tulsa Union Select AAU team, said: "If I had to sum him up, Shawn is a winner. He hates to lose. He wants the ball and will get it done. He's an exciting player who makes big plays. People love watching him play. He's absolutely an outstanding human being. He's respectful, easy to coach, and a pleasure to be around. He's an amazing young man. Throughout his recruiting process, we knew he was a Division I player. He was under the radar because early in his high school career they had some older guys on the team and they were very good. But he started to rise above the radar his junior year, and he had a great senior year."
Pepperdine will announce another addition to the roster later this week. In the fall, the Waves signed three other incoming freshmen: 6-foot-10 center Nate Gehring (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee HS), 6-foot-8 forward A.J. John (Santa Rosa, Calif./Maria Carrillo HS) and 6-foot-10 center Ryan Keenan (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge HS).