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Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Poulsen Leads Cubs Into First Round of Playoffs

Erik Poulsen
Photographer: Guy Mohr

Erik Poulsen started playing basketball when he was in the 5th grade. He played several years for a church league in Sonoma County.

"I was first drawn to basketball when a coach approached me," said Poulsen.  "He saw that I was tall and thought I could have a future in the sport."

Poulsen continued to develop as player and soon went to play for Analy High School in Sebastopol, Ca. He played JV his freshman year then moved up to varsity his sophomore year.

Before his junior year he decided to transfer to Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, but was ineligible to play due to the transfer. "Not playing my junior year definitely put a big hole in my development," Poulsen said.  "I wish I could of played, but there was nothing I could do."

The following year, Poulsen helped lead his team to the North Coast Section Division 2 Finals where they lost to the El Cerrito Gauchos at St. Mary's College.  "Even though we didn't win, it was a great experience," Poulsen said.  "I learned a lot and made some amazing friends along the way."

When the season was over, Poulsen says he didn't receive any scholarships so he decided to play basketball for SRJC.  Poulsen practiced all summer and fall with the team, but decided not to play right before the season started.  "I needed to take some time off to do some soul-searching," Poulsen said.  "I wanted to make sure that playing basketball was what I really wanted to do."  

Coach Craig McMillan tried to persuade him to continue playing, but Poulsen had his mind made up.  Poulsen remained a full time student at SRJC while taking on a part time job at Mary's Pizza Shack. He focused on getting good grades while deciding what he wanted to do with his life.

After several months, Poulsen contacted Coach McMillan and told him he wanted to play the following year. He had decided he wanted a future in basketball and was going to pursue it.

"I felt like I could get a scholarship to play at a Division I college if I set my mind to it," Poulsen said. "I felt like I had some good skills. I just had to put in some extra time to work on myself to get better and stronger."

This season Poulsen has had an exceptional year. He has helped lead the Bear Cubs to winning a conference title and are headed to round one of the playoffs.

In the Big 8 Conference he is ranked high amongst the top 5 players in four different categories.

Per game he has averaged: 17.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 54.4 field goal percentage, and 41.3 three point percentage.

Poulsen now has several colleges offering him scholarships.

"I have a few scholarship offers right now, and I'm trying to figure out what the best fit would be for me. University of San Francisco was my first scholarship offer and since then I've received ones from UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, University of Nevada Reno and a few others. Right now I'm just trying to focus on finishing the basketball season and getting good grades. When the season ends I'll sit down with Coach and start planning things out."

Poulsen is currently a journalism major. His goal is to pursue a professional basketball career overseas following college graduation then return to the US and become a sports writer.