Seattle Pacific's Ohlsen Earns D2 Commissioner's Award
In addition to preparing for graduate school in pharmacy at the University of Washington, Suzanna Ohlsen is preparing to play professional basketball in South Korea.
In addition to preparing for graduate school in pharmacy at the University of Washington, Suzanna Ohlsen is preparing to play professional basketball in South Korea.

Monday, August 17, 2015
by Seattle Pacific University Athletic Communications

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Suzanna Ohlsen, who earned numerous women's basketball academic honors as well as All-American recognition from two organizations while starring for Seattle Pacific last season, is one of 17 regional winners of the Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association Scholar-Athlete Award.
Ohlsen, who recently left for South Korea for a chance to play professionally, averaged 17.7 points and 3.9 assists for the Falcons in 2014-15 while helping them post a 22-7 overall record and reach the West Region semifinals. She started all 28 games she played (missing one game with an injury), shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and 83.2 percent from the foul line.

In February, Ohlsen, who carried a perfect 4.0 grade-point average as a biochemistry major through all four years, was named the Academic All-American of the Year for Division II women's basketball by the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America. Additionally, she was presented in June with SPU's C. Clifford McCrath 101 Club Award, given to one male and one female athlete with the highest GPA through four years.
Ohlsen also received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, and plans to use it at the University of Washington's pharmacy school, to which she already has been accepted.
The commissioners from each Division II basketball region selected the regional winners. To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have attained a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and possess outstanding athletic credentials.
Earlier this month, the 22-year-old Ohlsen left to join the KB Stars professional team. The Stars play in for Cheongju, South Korea, about 70 miles south of Seoul.

Until last December, playing pro ball had not been on Ohlsen's radar.
"Never in high school did I consider the possibility of playing professional," she said. "I really do love the sport, and I wasn't ready to give it up. When an agent contacted me out of the blue, God was really orchestrating it for me."
The Stars are one of six teams in the Women's Korean Basketball League, and were founded in 1963. (The league itself began in 1998.) They finished third last season with a 20-15 record, swept their best-of-3 playoff semifinal series against Sbirds, but lost the best-of-5 title series to Hansae Woori in four games.
Training camp has begun. The 35-game schedule begins Nov. 1 and runs through mid-March, followed by two weeks of playoffs.
"I did two tryouts in Seattle, and then, they wanted to make sure I could fit in with the team and could survive Korean culture. So they flew me over for a two-week-long tryout (in mid-July)," Ohlsen said. "Apparently, the coach liked what he saw, so they offered me a contract."
"They take it very, very seriously. Honestly, it's a level of basketball I've never played at before," she added. "It will be interesting to see how I adjust."
Ohlsen, whose mother is a Korean native, has been to the country once previously (at about age 5).
"It will be cool to understand where she comes from. I'm really excited to learn more about Korean culture," she said. "It'll be fun to meet a bunch of new people and have a chance to play professionally."
The roster includes WNBA players Dearica Hamby (San Antonio Stars) and Natasha Howard (Indiana Fever). While her precise role is yet to be determined, Ohlsen said it won't necessarily be her customary point guard spot.
"It's kind of hard to gauge right now. I'll probably play a combo guard this year," she said. "People know I like to run, so I'm really excited for a chance to play shooting guard."
Pharmacy school is still her top priority, but that will be waiting for Ohlsen when she returns. In the meantime, she was dealing with a whole range of emotions prior to her departure on Aug. 7.
"I'm honestly very apprehensive about moving to a foreign country and being away from everyone I know and love for eight months," she said. "It's a completely different time zone, culture, language barrier, and a new network of friends.
"This is the biggest leap of faith I've ever taken in my entire life."