3-Time Transfer Finds Home at CUH For Final Year


Kevin Hashiro

Braden Olsen is averaging 7.5 points so far on the season.

After transferring three times, Braden Olsen has found a new home on the Chaminade men’s basketball team. 

“I wanted to experience something new and different, but I also really wanted to go somewhere warm and enjoy my last year of college basketball,” said the 6-foot graduate student who was born in Kaneohe but raised in Oregon. 

After completing two seasons at Seattle Pacific University and two seasons at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, Olsen will now spend his last year of collegiate basketball at Chaminade. He has played and started two of the four games so far this season.  Before that he started all three Division I exhibition games against Ohio State, Cincinnati and Louisville, during which he exploded for a game-high 27 points and four assists.

“He’s been huge for us this year so far,” said CUH head coach Eric Bovaird. “He brings a wealth of experience and leadership that we really need. He’s played a lot of high-quality basketball so far in his college career and it translates to what we need and what we want him to do this year.”

Olsen is averaging 7.5 points in the two regular-season games so far, and the Silverswords have a 2-2 record. Their next game is the conference opener on Tuesday against intercity rival Hawaii Pacific University (3-1) at 6:30 p.m. at The Shark Tank.

Olsen is maybe the most experienced player on the Chaminade team that is coming off a 9-18 campaign, its worst since the 1996-97 season. He started his collegiate career at Division II Seattle Pacific University in 2017 and remained there for three seasons. As a freshman, he played in 23 games averaging 6.2 points. In the 2019-20 season, as a sophomore, Olsen helped the Falcons clutch the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular season title and earn a bid into the NCAA tournament, which was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Shortly thereafter, Olsen was set to graduate and decided to transfer. 

“A big part of transferring was that I was graduating and at SPU [and] you couldn’t do any grad programs without working in the workforce,” said Olsen, who earned his bachelor’s in Business in two years. “So I was kind of in a tough spot with figuring out what I would do if I stayed and what I would benefit from. I would really just be taking fluff classes and I kind of wanted to get my master’s and that led me to transfer to somewhere else.”

After undergoing a tricky transfer process due to a transfer block and the pandemic preventing him from visiting schools, Olsen eventually decided to attend Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he spent the next two years from 2020-22.

While at Gannon, Olsen played in 10 games with nine starts and averaged 13.4 points as a junior. For his final year at Gannon as a senior, he played in 19 games with one start and averaged 12.2 points. Olsen, who earned his MBA there, helped Gannon earn a Top 25 finish.

“He’s a great leader, he has great composure, he’s a great teammate, and he works hard in practice,” said redshirt junior Isaac Amaral-Artharee. “He leads not only vocally but also by example. He’s a really skilled player, which makes playing with him really fun.”

Although Olsen has had a good start to the season at Chaminade, he is battling a right (shooting) wrist injury that he suffered during the Louisville game that could potentially pull him from the season altogether. He has continued to play through the pain but will find out on Saturday from the doctor if he can continue playing. If he is unable, this will be the end of his final season of basketball. 

“We’re hoping he can come back and get healthy because we desperately miss him when he’s not on the court,” Bovaird said. “He’s a tough kid. He’s going to play through the injury that he has. I don’t know if he’ll be 100% for a while but he wants to give it a go and try and make the most of it.”

However, should Olsen be able to return, the coach expects him to continue being a big piece of the team’s future success. 

“Braden has good energy, leadership, and really just knowledge of what to do and when to do it,” Bovaird said. “He makes really good decisions with the ball and he gets us into good situations offensively and defensively. He’s really good at communicating. He’s a very integral part of our team and he’ll be a huge part of our success this year. Overall he’s just a big factor for us.”