It comes as little surprise that Gonzaga University basketball player Kelly Olynyk is the Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters Amateur Athlete of the Year for 2013.
Coming off a redshirt season, the Bulldogs junior, now with the NBA’s Boston Celtics, had a terrific year for a team that ranked No. 1 during the season and was the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
He was a consensus AP first-team All-American, was also the WCC Player of the Year and a John Wooden Award finalist among several honors after averaging 17.8 points on better than 60 percent shooting from the field, and 7.3 rebounds per game.
It was Gonzaga University basketball’s year when the SWABS, picked their winners for 2013.
In addition to Olynyk, Taelor Karr, on the NCAA-qualifying Gonzaga women’s team, was Amateur Female Athlete of the Year and the Bulldogs men were named Team of The Year in close balloting with Eastern Washington’s FCS football semifinalists.
Other honorees were Eastern’s Coach of the Year Beau Baldwin and Professional Athlete of the Year, Spokane Shock quarterback Erik Meyer.
Karr was the WCC Player of the Year for the six-time NCAA tournament qualifiers.
She averaged 14.1 points per game and nine times scored more than 20 with a season-best 27. All told, Carr recorded 16 double-doubles.
The Bulldogs men compiled a 32-3 overall record on the way to the No. 1 nod and berth in their 16th straight NCAA tournament before falling in the round of 32.
Baldwin coached the nationally third-ranked Eagles to a 12-3 record, their third season with 11 or more victories. They reached the FBS semifinals for the third time in four years. Eastern’s record in his six years is 56-22.
Meyer had a record-setting year for the Shock. He was named MVP of the Arena Football League after throwing for 4,667 yards and 112 touchdowns.
This was the 65th year – dating back to 1948 – that the SWABs, 50 voters strong, have handed out the awards from a compiled year-long list of area teams, coaches and athletes.