As the influx of new recruits to UAA athletic’s continues, the men’s basketball team received a rather unique addition. As head coach Rusty Osborne enters his 14th year in his position and his 27th year at UAA, his son, Kylan Osborne will enter as a first-year freshman on the team.
“He is the final piece in what we believe is an outstanding freshman class. It can be tough for kids to play for their parents, so I know this was a difficult decision for Kylan. However, as a father, I look forward to being around him every day for the next four to five years and helping him reach his goals,” Rusty said.
As it might be difficult to be a father-son, coach-athlete duo, both Kylan and Rusty observed the benefits. Kylan realized that his father knows his abilities better than anyone and that will help bring him success.
Following in his father’s footsteps to play collegiate basketball, Kylan signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Seawolves last month, after just graduating locally from Dimond High School.
As a Dimond Lynx, Kylan made standout performances for his four years on the team. As a senior, he averaged 10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game; producing a record like that gave Kylan 3-varsity letters throughout his high school career, as well as two years being a starter.
In Kylan’s final two seasons, he made made many notable accomplishments. He was a top contributor to the Lynx’s appearance and finish as runner-up at the 2016 ASAA 4A State Tournament as junior and winning the state title in 2017 in his senior year. During that final State Tournament game, Kylan sunk the final three-pointer with one minute left in the game and then produced a steal and two free throws to help win the game in the final seconds.
Kylan was always a top contributor in the Lynx’s games, even until the end. He explained the importance of following through and dedication throughout his high school career, which is a important trait to have in a collegiate season.
Speaking of the 2017 state championship game, Kylan described the momentous perseverance it took to win his only title.
“[My team and I] had been waiting for [that state title] since seventh grade… it was a really emotional. What a great season,” Kylan said.
Kylan hopes that the same perseverance and dedication will bring him success in his collegiate career.
During his senior year, Kylan earned all-tournament honors at the Soldotna Invitational and the Capitol City Classic, got a spot in the postseason AABC All-Star Game and earned first-team All-Cook Inlet Conference recognition.
Kylan is coming from an evenly successful team, something that his father and other coaches could see.
“As with the entire Dimond roster, Kylan did not have overly impressive individual stats, as they had nine players average between 6 to 13 points per game. However, he was the only player to start every game the last two years on a team that won 52 games, a state title and a state runner-up,” Rusty said.
Kylan Osborne isn’t the only Dimond graduate to join the team. The guard is joined by fellow Lynx Eric Jenkins and Austin White from Ninilchik, who was the state Gatorade Player of the Year.
“Kylan is a late bloomer physically and we feel that he will continue to fill out and grow with the help of Coach [Ryan] Walsh and our other outstanding strength coaches,” Rusty said.
With a successful team of coaches all-around, Kylan is expected to excel throughout his college career.