BOARDMAN - Chad Oliver's focus is uncanny.
His drive. His motivation. His patience.
And none of that describes his basketball prowess - the same Bristol High School senior who won the Trumbull County Coaches Association Player of the Year.
Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo
Lowellville's Kaye Solak, left, and Bristol's Chad Oliver, right, were presented the annual Byrd Giampetro Trophy for the Student Athlete of the Year Scholarship Award for girls and boys basketball presented by the Curbstone Coaches Sunday at The Georgetown in Boardman. Curbstone Coaches Basketball Recognition Banquet Chairman Sam Rogers is also pictured.
It's not about Panthers' guard who averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals per game.
Certainly, it has nothing to do with him winning the Division IV Northeast Inland Player of the Year and being named to the All-Ohio first team.
Sunday, at the Curbstone Coaches Basketball Recognition Banquet, it had to do with one number - a 4.0 GPA.
Oliver and Lowellville High School senior Kaye Solak won this year's Byrd Giampetro Trophy for the Student Athlete of the Year Scholarship Award. Each were given a sizable bronze trophy and a $1,000 scholarship.
The requirements for the scholarship include a minimum 2.5 GPA and a balance between their work on and off the court.
Both Oliver and Solak are 4.0 students and definitely exceeded the bare minimum by being active in blood drives, toy drives, and a charity 3-on-3 tournament to name a few.
"I sat at the Trumbull County Banquet and said, that's a great ending to a great season he had," Bristol boys basketball coach Craig Giesy said. "It just keeps getting better for him. This is definitely an award that is right up his alley. When I read the criteria, I thought he'd have a shot to get this. It's nice he's getting recognized as astudent. Being an athlete has carried his name the past couple of months. Now he's getting close to graduation, this is a good award to carry into graduation - honoring his 4.0 and work in the classroom."
Oliver plans to attend Kent State University on an academic scholarship. He's undecided on his major, but is leaning toward pre-medicine.
He's been involved in many activities such as BETA Club, school choir and even raked leaves for those people around Bristolville who needed assistance.
"Each of the different clubs I've been in, they each teach me different things," Oliver said. "Overall, I think the clubs have taught me hard work. You have to work hard to get what you want in life. What you put in is what you're going to get out of it."
Solak, who plans on majoring in respiratory therapy at Youngstown State University, has gotten plenty out of her basketball career - a Division IV third-team All-Ohio selection and part of a Rockets team that went 63-1 in Inter Tri-County League play during her four seasons. Lowellville won four straight league and district championships.
But her greatest feat was the balancing act between schoolwork and athletics.
"It's pretty much knowing what you have to do before you do it," Solak said. "You can't come to school and not expect to do anything that day. Everyday you have to plan out what you're doing the next day and before. If you have a test that's coming up, you can't wait until the night before because you might be in a game at Wellsville, which is an hour away from here. A lot of times you have to ask teachers what's coming ahead of time, just so you're able to stay ahead of the game, so you get everything done and to make sure to keep my grades up."
One night Oliver even helped babysit one of his teacher's three sons and one daughter. He incorporated his lessons learned on the court and utilized them in a different setting.
"Throughout sports you learn patience," Oliver said. "They might get out of line, but you have to be patient with them and send them in the right direction."