Legends of the 715: Harold Olsen

Rice Lake definitely has a rich history of basketball and it may of started with Harold Olsen.

Harold Olsen was born in Rice Lake in 1895. He played basketball for the Wisconsin Badgers where he was named two-time All-Big Ten. After his college playing career, he began his coaching career at Bradley University and Ripon College. Then in 1922 he became head coach at Ohio State University where he held the position for 24 years. He finished his Buckeye career with a 259-197 record that included five Big Ten championships, one NCAA runner-up finish and three final fours (all coming in his final three years of coaching at Ohio State). After his coaching career at Ohio State, he became the first coach of the Chicago Stags in the BAA (which later become part of the NBA). After his three seasons in the BAA, he coached Northwestern University from 1950-1952.

In 1939 he helped lead the movement for a national tournament, which we now know as the NCAA tournament. He also helped initiate the 10-second rule in basketball. In 1959 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Quite the rich history of basketball from this Rice Lake native!

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