Bolin a steady presence for men’s basketball


Brandon Semel | Northern Star

Senior forward Aksel Bolin recently played in his 100th career game as a Huskie.

By Brian Earle

In the midst of changes throughout the men’s basketball program in the last four years, players and coaches coming and going, one thing has remained the same: senior forward Aksel Bolin.

With Bolin coming off the bench against Toledo on Jan. 22, he became the only player on the Huskies’ current roster to play in 100 career games. On top of that, Bolin had appeared in 86 consecutive contests and has not missed a game since Feb. 15, 2011, at Western Michigan.

“That’s just hard work and being a college basketball player,” Bolin said. “For me, it was definitely a proud moment. I can say that I’ve played 100 career games as a Huskie. That’s always been a goal of mine, and I’m happy to say that I’ve done that.”

Bolin broke his streak of appearing in consecutive games against Ball State when he missed that game due to an illness, but he has been back in the Huskies’ starting lineup the last two games.

“He’s very durable; he’s very reliable, you know, he plays through injuries,” said coach Mark Montgomery. “… Aksel is a total team player. It’s remarkable that he hasn’t had any serious injuries because he plays so hard and he plays multiple positions and he’s so valuable.”

Not only has Bolin been incredibly durable and reliable for the Huskies, he has consistently been one of the Huskies’ best defenders on and off the ball.

“Aksel can always guard his man one on one because of his size and versatility,” Montgomery said. “At the same time he is an unbelievable help defender. He’s always in the gap early, and he’s always trying to help a teammate. And at the end of the day he doesn’t mind playing physical: He will cut a guy out and go get a rebound; he doesn’t mind getting dirty. Those are the kind of players that you love to have.”

After getting off to a slow start this season on the offensive side of the ball, Bolin has been one of the top scorers for the Huskies in conference play. The Norway native is averaging 9.6 points per game in MAC play has been the best 3-point shooter in the MAC during conference play, shooting 48 percent while hitting 13 of 27 from behind the arc.

“I’ve been disappointed with my play in non-conference play, so I’ve been looking to turn that around for myself,” Bolin said. “I’m just glad I can try to give the team what it needs; we definitely need scoring. So I was just thinking about that and paid more attention to that going into the games, which has definitely helped me.”