Tulane Ace Braden Olthoff Earns February Athlete of the Month Honor
NEW ORLEANS (March 9, 2020) – Braden Olthoff, Tulane’s ace right-handed pitcher, has been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for February. Monthly award-winners are chosen in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Olthoff, a 6-4 juco transfer from Palomar College in California, had a sensational debut month on the mound for the Green Wave. The right-hander posted a 3-0 record with a 0.43 ERA and a .127 opponent batting average. He won all three of his starts while allowing just one earned run (three total runs) in 21 innings with 34 strikeouts and nine hits and only one walk. He continued his excellence with his first March start as he tossed seven innings, allowing just three hits and no earned runs while striking out 13 as he picked up the win on a 16-2 decision over Southern.
In his Tulane debut, Olthoff started the season opener for the Wave against Florida Gulf Coast (Feb. 14) and tossed six innings, allowing one earned run with 10 K’s in a 4-3 victory. He returned to the hill on Feb. 22 and pitched a masterpiece on the road against traditional power Cal State Fullerton with a complete-game three-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory. His 16 strikeouts were the most by a Tulane pitcher since 1998. Olthoff continued his mound mastery on Feb. 28 as he pitched six hitless innings with eight strikeouts in a 2-0 home win over Middle Tennessee. Two relief pitchers completed the no-hitter for Tulane, its first since 2005. Olthoff earned American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week recognition for each of his last two starts; he was also named the February Pitcher of the Month by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Olthoff was selected for the honor over an undefeated collegiate tennis star and three basketball standout.
- Xavier University’s Lailaa Bashir recorded a perfect month in singles and doubles as she posted 9-0 marks in both. She is half of the No. 1 ranked small-college women’s doubles team and had wins over three ranked NAIA schools and an NCAA Division I opponent.
- Jerkaila Jordan, the dominant player in LHSAA Division I girls’ basketball for the past four years, averaged 18.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.7 steals and 2.0 blocks per game in February as John Curtis posted a 5-1 record. The Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year capped her career by leading the Patriots to their fourth straight Division I state title on Saturday evening.
- Jaron Pierre has led St. Augustine High School to a 29-1 record and the No. 2 seed in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division I state tournament. The 6-4 guard keyed the Purple Knights’ key victory over fellow New Orleans power Brother Martin on Fed. 7 as he scored 27 points, including five three-pointers, in the 77-68 win.
- J. Small, a 6’3 combo guard, led Brother Martin to a 5-1 month of February by averaging 22.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. The 29-5 Crusaders are the No. 4 seed in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division I state tournament. In his final regular-season home game (Deb. 18), he poured in 30 points with 14 rebounds in a 73-59 win over Holy Cross. For the season, Small, a team captain, has produced 21.6 points and 8 rebounds per outing.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1957. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. The 2019-20 monthly award winners to be honored this summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.