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Posted On: 06/22/18 3:23 AM
If you ever happen to be driving through Morenci, Arizona and your a basketball junky like myself, make sure you stop by one of the few basketball gyms that they have in the town and watch the only 6-foot-10 17 year-old in the town. Chances are, he is in a gym putting up shots and working on his game. He doesn’t do much else. He might occasionally be fishing or hanging out with some friends and his name is John Olmsted.
OK, you will probably never be driving through Morenci. So chances are you will have to catch him on the rare occasion that he comes up to play in the Valley. Last weekend he played with his high school squad in the Grand Canyon team camp and started opening some eyes there as they watched this 6-foot-10 kid kill on the glass, drop 3-pointers like he has done it before and drop dimes to teammates. That’s right, Olmsted drops dimes! His ability to pass the both with both hands and whip passes across the floor to open shooters is impressive.
Olmsted and the Morenci Wildcats will be competing in the ASU Team Camp this Friday and Saturday against some of the state’s top competition.
Last season, Morenci went 19-11 with Olmsted leading the way. Olmsted had averages that looked something like 16 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals per game. As good as Olmsted is, there is no enrichment of basketball talent in Morenci like there is in the copper mines, where his father, Josh, puts in long days to provide for his family while mom, Tracey, holds down the fort and coaches volleyball at the high school. Olmsted is not just the only D1 player on his team, he is the only player that will play a day of college basketball. However, he takes it in strides. He enjoys playing with his teammates and friends. He still makes the right pass and trusts them to knock it down. Nevertheless, he is excited to play some of the top teams from the Phoenix-area to prove he can play with them, as much for himself as other people. He is confident he will be just fine.
He spent the spring traveling on the AAU circuit with Powerhouse Tucson and has spoke with a few Division-I college coaches along the way. Aside from his skillset and size, he is extremely recruit-able from an academic standpoint as well. He holds a 3.85 GPA and scored a 1200 on his SAT and a 25 on his ACT.
Olmsted has spent 9 years of his life in Cociapo, Chile, as his father’s work took the family there. He admits to missing it at times. He has lived in Morenci for the past 5 years and spent most of his teenage years on the baseball diamond. As a power-hitting 1st baseman and a Division-I prospect. However, he grew 5 inches by the end of his sophomore year and decided that he would hang up his baseball cleats for his size 14 sneakers full time. While he did love playing the game, he had discovered how much more he loved basketball. He realized that if he was going to take his game to the next level, it would take too much of his time and decided to upset the baseball coach a little bit and commit himself to the hardwood.
He hopes to spend the summer playing in front of college coaches and start to seriously start handling his recruitment. He will choose his future school based highly on academics. While he has not pinned down a major for college he knows he has a strong interest in engineering and environmental science. While he is figuring out the college stuff, he will continue to put in work on the court. He wants to continue to work on his inside post moves and continue to get bigger and stronger. He wants to put in work on his ballhandling and continue to work on an outside shot that already looks pretty good.
Prep Hoops will be keeping a close eye on the rising big man prospect this weekend at the ASU Team Camp and well into July on the AAU summer circuit.