Paul Oliver has been playing organized basketball as long as he can remember. However, in 2019, he’s throwing his old Chuck Taylor’s over the prison walls and transitioning to coaching.
“I want to sail boats and raise horses in Alberta (Canada) when I get out,” Oliver said. “I want to teach these guys how to play the inside game; baseline drop steps, boxing out, the tangibles of the game that can extend their career as long as I’ve played.”
At 62, Paul is still able to play at a high level. A 2-sport athlete here at The Q, he also is on the Inside Tennis Team.
His career spans across five decades.
From 1972-74, he played for Skyline High School in Oakland, Ca.
After graduating, he had an opportunity for a full scholarship to the University of Washington to play basketball, however, he chose a career in the Army, becoming a member of the 2nd 75th Ranger Battalion at Ft. Lewis.
Paul spent 10 years in the armed services.
He hit a course of bad situations that led him into the Federal prison system, where he picked his game up again, playing in the PBA (Prison Basketball Association) against collegiate and semipro teams that came in from the public to play against the inmates.
“The competition was serious. Very serious. If you didn’t have game, you wasn’t getting on the court. There was also financial benefits… under the table of course,” Oliver said with a huge smile. “I was never without anything I needed.”
“Fundamentals,” Oliver said. “That will keep any player viable for a long time, as well as taking care of your body. Allowing yourself to heal fully after injuries, hav- ing a good diet, and knowing when to listen to your body. You have to respect the game, and that’s what I plan on teaching as assistant coach with the warriors this season.”
Paul’s veteran leadership will be needed this season on the coaching staff as the Warriors are making a change in head coaches this season.