How Lachie Olbrich keeps climbing up NBA draft boards
The 19-year-old's rapid rise into draft calculations has caught the world by surprise. It shouldn't have.
Credit: Illawarra Hawks
From inside a hotel room on the Gold Coast, Lachie Olbrich wakes up, and opens his phone. It’s blown up.
Jonathan Givony, ESPN’s leading NBA draft analyst, wasn’t the only one impressed. The Bleacher Report’s Jonathon Wasserman has him pegged as a second rounder, while The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie called him a “legit draft prospect”. It’d taken just one night to have his name on the lips of every scout at the NBL Blitz.
A common theme that often comes up when discussing Olbrich is that, like most emerging stars, he’s “built different”. It’s not surprising, considering he’s 6’10 and looks like Chris Hemsworth’s stunt double. But really, the sentiment goes much deeper than that. Something coaches, teammates, and even I was able to pick up over the course of our half hour conversation, is his ability to see the bigger picture.
Imagine for a moment, a big, talented, skinny kid from South Australia’s Southern Tigers. He’s overlooked for a number of state teams, before bursting onto the scene at NBL1 level. He shuns the Adelaide 36ers for an interstate rival, before generating some serious NBA buzz. Does this story sound familiar? It should. It’s exactly how Joe Ingles started his career, before a storied journey across Europe and the NBA, more than A$100M in earnings, and a legacy as one of Australia’s most beloved Olympians.
It’s also exactly the exact trajectory Lachie Olbrich’s career has taken, at least to a point. So how exactly did this 19-year-old become the talk of NBA scouts everywhere?
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