By Greg Bates
SEYMOUR – Aaron Overlien was a gym rat growing up in Seymour.
Not even locked doors at night would stop him from shooting in the gym
His high school coach, Jon Murphy, recalls catching Overlien in the gym after hours.
“I said, ‘How did you get in here?’” Murphy said. “The doors were all locked, and they have video in there. He got in through the stereo system that was out at the time.”
Almost 20 years later, Overlien admits it was almost an everyday occurrence he snuck into the gym when he wasn’t supposed to.
“My senior year, the school made me meet with a locksmith to show him how I got in so they could seal the entrance shut,” Overlien joked.
He played on the Seymour varsity squad for four years – becoming one of only a handful of basketball players in state history to appear in four state title games.
Overlien, a guard, was a three-year starter, two-time AP All-State recipient and one-time state champion.
“The kid loved the game and worked hard,” Murphy said. “He’s one of those kids who worked so hard he’d put pressure on the other kids to do the same thing. If you went against him and you didn’t go all-out, you were going to be embarrassed.”
Overlien, a 2003 Seymour graduate, was a part of teams that went a combined 92-14 during his four seasons.
As a freshman in 1999-2000, Overlien came off the bench.
His minutes increased throughout the season, where Seymour advanced to the Division 2 state title game before falling to New Berlin West, 47-37.
Overlien earned a starting spot as a sophomore and earned all-conference status.
With the team led by Jeff Vandehei and Chad Marks, Seymour brought home the Division 2 title.
Overlien scored 14 points in the state championship game, as Seymour downed previously-undefeated Pewaukee, 54-45.
“It was awesome to be on that team and be able to contribute with more minutes,” Overlien said. “I have some of my best memories of that year. That group was one of my favorites because we had a great team – it was a collective effort.”
With a bull’s-eye on their backs, Seymour came back the following year, 2001-02, and returned to the state title game.
After a win in the state semifinals, Seymour lost to Madison Edgewood 62-38 in the championship.
Overlien was named unanimous first-team all-conference and third-team AP All-State.
He capped off his career the next season, surpassing the 1,000-point plateau, where his name still appears on a plaque in the high school gym.
Seymour made its fourth straight trip to the state championship game, falling to Aquinas, 62-59.
Again, Overlien was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection and fourth-team AP All-State member.
“Aaron was a huge cog in that whole thing,” Murphy said. “As a freshman, he was a role player, but after that, he was a leader in every sense of the word. He played a huge part in our success for four years.”
Overlien said a few moments stand out in his high school career.
The first was the state semifinal game against Adams-Friendship when Overlien was a sophomore.
Seymour trailed 27-26 with 20 seconds remaining when Vandehei pulled down a rebound and was fouled.
“Jeff runs to the student section before shooting the free throws,” Overlien recalled. “He starts fist-pumping the crowd and pointing at his mom in the stands like we won. We’re still losing at this point. We calm him down and say, ‘You’ve got to go shoot the free throws.’ He shoots the free throws and he knocked them both down – didn’t even flinch and we went on to win the game.”
The next day, Seymour won the state title.
Overlien’s other memorable moment happened the next season against Adams-Friendship in the state semifinals again.
Seymour trailed 42-40 when Bobby Feldkamp made a big play.
“We were about to lose the game with 4 seconds left,” Overlien said. “Bobby steals the ball off an inbounds pass. He’s covering the in-bounder, so he’s not even covering some guy who’s going to receive the ball. Bobby jumps up and grabs it because he was a great athlete. He dribbles in, swerves through two guys and lays it in. No one’s going to forget that game.”
The game went to overtime where Seymour pulled off a 52-47 victory.
After his high school career, Overlien went to Wheaton College in Illinois and played basketball for one season.
He then received a basketball scholarship from Biola University in La Mirada, California, and transferred to the NAIA college.
Overlien redshirted his first season at Biola and then played his final three years, appearing in 24 career contests and averaging 2.5 points per game.
“It didn’t work out as I hoped,” Overlien said.
He graduated in 2008 from Biola and met his future wife, Lindsey, in college.
The couple has two kids: 6-year-old son, Jadin, and 3-year-old daughter, Bella.
The family resides in Irvine, California.
“I wanted to see what California was like and see if I could take advantage of the weather,” Overlien said. “I came out here, and I haven’t left.”
Overlien, 36, has been a financial advisor at New York Life Insurance Company for the past 12 years.
“We’re proud of Aaron and what he’s done,” Murphy said. “I didn’t have any doubt a kid with his work ethic would succeed. It’s not a surprise at all he’s a successful young man in his field and a successful husband and a great dad, too.”
Overlien said he isn’t a stranger to the Seymour basketball program, where he enjoys watching games online and seeing its continued success.
“Whenever I have a bad day at work, I think about the fun I had at Seymour – practice and hanging out with the guys,” Overlien said. “We had some great moments.”