In the last six years, the Laramie County Community College men’s basketball team has only had one player score more than 1,000 points in their time at LCCC.
Sophomore guard Elijah Oliver is looking to become the second player over that time span to reach the 1,000-point milestone. With only one more game guaranteed for the Golden Eagles this season, Oliver needs 15 more points to break the barrier.
“I actually had no idea that I was near 1,000 points, so it’s actually pretty fresh to me,” Oliver said.
Oliver would be the first player to eclipse the 1,000-point mark since Deshon Portley scored 1,221 points in the 2012-2014 seasons.
For being such a prolific scorer Oliver did not follow the traditional basketball path. Unlike most players, he didn’t grow up in the AAU basketball system or play for traveling teams. Oliver always had a love for the game but he wasn’t allowed to play organized basketball until he got to high school.
“It started back when I wasn’t allowed to play,” Oliver said. “I didn’t play basketball until I was a freshman in high school. I started playing basketball out in my front yard with my brother when I was four years old and then from there I kind of took over the game. I was able to play my freshman year and it all kicked off from there.”
Oliver attended East High School in Cheyenne, were he scored 1,211 career points for the Thunderbirds. After a tremendous high school career, Oliver had various options for college but decided to stay in his hometown and attend LCCC.
“I had offers from the other junior colleges in the state but I just felt like this was the best one,” Oliver said. “Just being around family and keep in touch with them.”
Oliver also said he decided to attend LCCC because he felt like it would give him the best opportunity to expand his game and improve his skills.
With his late start into organized basketball, Oliver has used the game play of professional players and put in hard work on his own time to help hone his offensive skills to make him the scorer he is today.
“I think it’s just the work I put in,” Oliver said. “I watch a lot of video on different types of players that play in the NBA. Watching a lot of players and then taking those moves and trying to put them in my game. Also having the mentality that nobody can guard me and I can get my shot off any time.”
Oliver said he is looking to continue his career past this season, hopefully with a Division I team.
“I want to go Division I,” Oliver said. “I actually got quite a bit of offers from Division I level, so I kind of got to go through that process and decide where I want to go and what place fits me best.”
Oliver isn’t putting all his focus on to the future; he hopes to leave a stamp for the younger generation from his time at LCCC that will help them in their futures too.
“I want to let people know that hard work is the way to go,” Oliver said. “I want to encourage the younger generation and not just in basketball but just to be good people. That’s what I want to leave behind, just being a good person and working hard at what you do and just try to leave an impact on people.”
Oliver is running out of time to reach 1,000 points but he hopes to hit the mark before time runs out on the season.
“It would be an honor,” Oliver said. “To do it in two years just shows that hard work really helps.”