July 22, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Recent Loyola University Maryland men's basketball graduates Erik Etherly and Robert Olson have signed to play in the Basketball Alumni Legends League (The-BALL) and will participate in games next weekend at George Washington University's Charles E. Smith Center.
Etherly and Olson helped lead Loyola to 62 wins over the past three years, the most in a trio of years during the program's NCAA Division I history (since 1981-1982). They will join the Maryland team that will play teams from North Carolina, Philadelphia, Virginia and Washington.
Games start on Saturday, July 27, and will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and will be streamed live on ESPN3.
The pair guided Loyola to 62 wins in three years, including 47 over the course of the last two. The Greyhounds reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994 during their junior season (2011-2012), and they advanced to postseason play in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1949-1950, reaching the CIT Quarterfinals this past season.
Etherly was a two-time All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference First Team honoree who averaged 15.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in 2012-2013 as the Greyhounds finished with a 23-12 record.
The native of Annandale, Va., who graduated in December with a bachelor of arts in communications, played in 93 games, making 89 starts, during his three seasons at Loyola. He averaged 13.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocked shots and 1.2 steals per game for the Greyhounds.
He also was the first player in Loyola history to earn All-District honors in consecutive years from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Over the final seven games of the 2012-2013 regular-season, Etherly had five games with 22 or more points, including three-straight with 23-plus.
Etherly's 1,245 career points are 20th in Loyola history, and he joined Olson to accomplish the rare feat of reaching 1,000 career points in the same game in January at Fairfield University. His 450 rebounds are 17th in program history, and his rebounds pre game mark is eighth. Etherly's 121 career blocked shots are third all-time, and he is ninth in free-throws made.
Olson, a May graduate with a business degree, garnered All-MAAC Third Team honors in 2011-2012 and finished his Loyola career as one of the program's top shooters. He averaged 10.0 points while playing in a school-record 127 games.
He wrapped up his career with 1,264 points, good for 17th in program history, and his 211 3-pointers made rank second all-time at Loyola while shooting 37.5-percent from behind the arc during his four years at Loyola.
As a senior in 2012-2013, Olson averaged a career-high 12.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He also set the school's single-season record for games played (35) and mark for games started (34).
Olson, who is from Silver Spring, Md., wrapped up his career with 233 assists (16th all-time at the school), 431 rebounds (tied for 24th) and 119 assist (10th)
The-BALL announced plans last summer to launch a full-fledged professional league in college basketball hotbed markets along the East Coast. The new league's teams will feature former college standouts from the local universities, designed to give the teams instant star power and a built-in fan base.
The season will run from early June to mid-August, filling a void for basketball fans and giving top players a high quality professional alternative during their off-season break between seasons inthe NBA D-League or overseas. Play will begin this weekend with a four-team soft launch as a sneak preview of the league to come.
This summer's games are expected to be a precursor to The-BALL's official launch in 2014 with six teams and a 20-game schedule.