Basketball Captain Billy Oliver to End Playing Career
Billy Oliver issued a statement following Saturday’s game against Nebraska, saying that he will no longer continue his basketball career at Penn State due to ongoing concussion-like symptoms. He intends stay at Penn State and continue to be around the program in some capacity.
The 21-year-old has been plagued by concussion-like symptoms since 2008, when he suffered two concussions during preseason and early season workouts.
In the press room after Saturday’s game against Nebraska, the redshirt junior was visibly emotional as he addressed his decision to leave the team. Oliver said that he struggled over the decision, but ultimately decided that it would be selfish to continue playing if he couldn’t give 100% every time on the floor.
Oliver played in 58 games during his career at Penn State. This season, he had been averaging 7 points, 3 assists, and over 3 rebounds per game, along with shooting 34% from behind the arc. He had a breakout game in a 65-45 win against Purdue on January 5, when he hit a career-best 7 of 10 threes and scored a career-high 21 points.
The leading 3-point shooter on the team this season, Oliver has always been the epitome of a student-athlete. He is currently an academic All-Big Ten Honoree with a 3.2 GPA and is set to earn his finance degree this May. Oliver plans on returning to Penn State next fall to finish a second degree in economics.
Oliver will stay with the team for the rest of this season and use a medical redshirt next year that won’t count against the team’s 13-scholarship limit. He intends to stay with the team next year in some sort of graduate assistant role.
Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said it’s been a “tough couple days,” as he and Oliver toiled over this decision. He noted Oliver’s high character by adding, “I hope my son Ryan ends up like Billy Oliver.”