Prior to the 2017-18 season for the Pacific University men’s basketball season, senior Nate Olowo almost called it quits. But, he would play his fourth and final season for the Boxers and it turned out to be one of the more historic in Pacific’s history books.
After the Boxers wrapped up their season, it was not long after that the Northwest Conference (NWC) would award Olowo a First Team All-NWC selection. Olowo averaged 14.5 points per game, hit 59.3 percent from the field, and grabbed an average of 9.3 rebounds. He would also record an impressive nine double-doubles on the season.
Olowo is glad he made the decision to play his final season at Pacific, mentioning that his heavy schedule this year was the main factor to why he considered giving up the game.
“I am, of course, happy about my success this season considering the fact I almost hung up my shoes before the start of the season due to time and work constraints, “the senior forward said. “I sporadically balanced school, work, and basketball, and I am very satisfied with the decision I made to finish out my fourth and final year with Pacific basketball.”
In Olowo’s career, he would progressively improve each and every year. After only playing a total of 10 minutes his freshmen year, only scoring one point and one recorded rebound, he would follow up his sophomore year playing all 25 games, notching 168 total points, 165 rebounds and 23 blocks. Junior year, he would record 277 points for the Boxers, adding 222 rebounds, and 31 denied blocks on the season. To end his final season as a Boxer, Olowo would score a staggering 362 points, grabbed 233 rebounds, and record 33 blocks. Olowo would also only miss one game in his final three years, proving how much of a factor he was to this program.
He would finish his Pacific career with an average of 10.3 points (808) and 7.9 rebounds (621), in which Olowo now ranks second all-time in rebounds at Pacific behind Dan French who has a record of 688.
Being with the program all four years, Olowo was able to play with a diverse group of players, develop on and off the court relationships, and learn valuable life lessons that he is able to apply outside the gymnasium.
“I enjoyed being able to bond and play with many different groups of teammates,” Olowo said. “I was able to observe how all four of my teammates handled adversity and triumph as the season progressed. I also enjoyed the relationships I build with the coaches on and off the court. They taught me things that extended off the basketball court into my everyday life. Mental toughness being a huge one because as a young adult pursuing various career paths, I must be ready to adapt to any situation life throws at me.”
With Olowo’s collegiate basketball career officially over, there will be many things he is going to miss. The one thing he will miss the most? The competition of the game.
“I will miss the competition factor of basketball,” Olowo said. “Being able to bring together two different groups of individuals to battle 40 minutes straight. Scouting sessions that allowed you to analyze and exploit either physical and/or mental advantages you have against your opponent. Experiencing the emotions that came with wins along with losses, because it was all a learning process in which a few tweaks in game strategy could change the outcome.”
Olowo will graduate this spring with a B.S. in Chemistry and will attend the University of Oregon to obtain his Master’s degree in Bioinformatics. After, that he plans to get his Doctorates degree, “in a discipline that catches my interest next,” Olowo said. “I’ll continue to educate myself for as long as possible because as a wise man once said, knowledge is power.”