Celtic fans are all hoping that their team can improve over last year’s record of only 25 wins and 57 losses. Improved play by their big man, seven foot center Kelly Olynyk will be a critical part of the team’s resurgence as the 2014-2015 season begins. On July 27, 2013, the Celtics made many trades in order to select Olynyk out of the successful program at Gonzaga. Kelly posted career highs in his All American junior season with 17.8 points a game and 7.3 rebounds.
WKXL is excited to be carrying the Celtics games this year. The Grappone Auto Group will be sponsoring the broadcasts with Sean Grande doing play by play and former Celtic great Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell providing color analysis.
In his interview with Chris Ryan, Olynyk discussed how he worked in the off season to improve his strength and athletic ability. He has shown in training camp that his efforts to adapt to the rigors of the NBA are paying off. What separates Kelly from other big men is his ball handling skills. He credits this to his being a point guard throughout his high school career in Canada. In the interview, he also discussed how his improved rebounding will be an key part of the Celtics resurgence this year. He also mentioned several players who influenced his development–big men who could shoot and dribble like Los Angeles Laker center, Vlade Divac and fellow Canadian, Steve Nash–an all star point guard.
Kelly Olynyk comes from a basketball family. His father, Ken, was head men’s basketball coach at the University of Toronto from 1989 to 2002 and the Canada Junior Men’s National Team from 1983 to 1996. His mother was a basketball referee who also worked for the Toronto Raptors as a scorekeeper. Ironically, Ken Olynyk was criticized for cutting Steve Nash, one of his son’s idols, from the Canadian National Team.