The Olmsted brothers, Zac and Johny, have finally fulfilled a life-long dream of playing basketball together. Being four years apart and only having each other, they had never been able to play on the same team before, until they jumped at the chance to play together for the University of Dallas.
Zac Olmsted, a transfer MBA graduate student, #5, said, “It was something we had always talked about and the opportunity to play together was too hard to pass up.”
Johny Olmsted, a freshman business major and #1, committed to UD in September 2021. It was only after he committed that Zac decided to pursue his MBA at UD.
On the topic of his brother’s decision to attend UD, Johny Olmsted commented, “For us to be able to share the court is a moment I would never take away, something I would never say no to.”
For both brothers, their favorite memory of the season thus far is when they played together in their very first game.
“When we shared the court for the first time, to be standing there on the same court, on the same team at the collegiate level was surreal,” Zac Olmsted said, “and a really proud moment for me as the older one to know that we both made it.”
Johny Olmsted continued: “It was my first collegiate game, I was pretty nervous but I knew what I was capable of. The first moment that was really cool was when I got in the game and Zac assisted me on my first two three’s, my first two-made shots ever, and it was pretty cool to say that my brother assisted me.”
The brother’s relationship off the court certainly translates to their bond on the court.
“Of course we know each other best,” Zac Olmsted said. “We really push each other to get the best out of each other because we know what we are capable of, and just mentally as well, being able to help each other out and knowing how to communicate with each other and just the most effective way to help the other.”
“We have such high expectations for each other and for the team…and it really hurts when we are right there and just can’t get it done,” Johny Olmsted added. “But it does make it a lot easier having someone, who I’ve lived with my whole life, to just talk to each other after the games and calm each other down or just say like we’ve gotta move on.”
Along with fulfilling their own dreams, the brothers are also making their parents proud. It’s been a family dream for the brothers to play together.
“Our family has always been really involved in our basketball experience and so supportive and I know they are really proud of us,” Zac Olmsted shared. “They love watching the games, I’m sure they’re screaming behind the TV. They want to be able to come down and watch some games and watch us at the same time being able to finally share the court.”
When asked what each brother’s most admirable trait is, both emphasized the talent and competitiveness of the other.
“His most admirable quality is his leadership, even being a freshman,” said Zac Olmsted. “We talk about how leadership comes from everyone, not just two or three guys, and Johny does a great job of being vocal, helping guys and telling them what he sees. He’s really a calming presence on the court for a lot of our guys. He is a steady presence for us but he is also ultra-competitive and brings tenacity in the way he plays and it really shows on the court how much it benefits us.”
In response, Johny Olmsted complimented his brother’s competitiveness and drive.
Johny Olmsted said, “He has always been, for as long as I’ve known, the biggest competitor on the court, he takes it to heart. He just wants to win so badly and more than anyone I’ve ever seen or I’ve played on the court with.”
Johny Olmsted also emphasized that his brother has always been an inspiration to him.
“The only reason I have those qualities is because I was able to watch it when I was growing up,” Johny Olmsted said. “So, a lot of the leadership qualities and the competitive qualities that I’ve been able to learn are all coming from him and when I was watching him in high school, middle school and all that. So, I’d say just for him to be leading by example, it’s definitely his biggest quality.”