Boys basketball: Oswego tabs Elk Grove’s Nick Oraham as new head coach

Crystal Lake South graduate was coach at Elk Grove for six years, Dixon before that

Oswego boys basketball coach Nick Oraham

Nick Oraham is still learning about his Oswego basketball players, but he will make three commitments as to the type of team they’ll be.

They will be tough. They will be physical.

And, like Oraham showed himself to be in the interview process, they will be detail-oriented.

“We want teams to look on the schedule and say, ‘We have to play Oswego?’ ” Oraham said. “We want to make it a nightmare on opposing teams from a defensive standpoint and offensively try to space the floor.”

Oraham, previously the head coach at Elk Grove for six seasons, was approved as Oswego’s next boys basketball coach at Monday’s board meeting.

The 37-year-old Lockport resident, who played in high school at Crystal Lake South and is an Eastern Illinois graduate, served as head coach in Dixon for two years prior to his time at Elk Grove and before that was an assistant at Loyola. The move closer to home – he’s shaving 12 miles off the commute each way – was just one variable that attracted Oraham to the Oswego job.

“I was looking for, ‘A,’ something closer to home and ‘B,’ trying to get back to a place with a community feel to it,” said Oraham, married with two boys, 7 and 5 years old. “What really drew me to Oswego is it’s Dixon times three in terms of enrollment. The kids and the people there have a lot of pride in the school, and the town. It made me excited about getting the job.

“It’s had a decent tradition, it’s a school that cares deeply about its athletics and the facilities are fantastic. It checks a lot of boxes.”

Oswego is coming off a 4-25 season in Chad Pohlmann’s seventh and final season on the sidelines. The Panthers last winning season came in 2019-2020, but they did go 16-16 in 2022-2023.

Oswego will return 6-foot-5 All-Area junior Dasean Patton, its leading scorer, to the fold next season, and Oraham noted that Oswego’s sophomore team “won 17 games, if I’m not mistaken.”

“There are some good pieces,” Oraham said.

Oraham in six seasons posted a 28-139 record at Elk Grove, a program whose last winning season came in 2014-2015.

Incoming Oswego athletic director Dan Arntzen was struck by Oraham’s attention to detail and plan for the program during the interview process.

“He was able to articulate and break down some things, he was able to speak to our student-athletes about specific aspects in their game,” Arntzen said. “He came in with an action plan on what he wants to see. His attention to detail was phenomenal. You can tell that he was one of those basketball lifers. We’re looking for someone to move the program forward and Nick has that fresh vision.”

Oraham said he’s already been watching a ton of film of the Oswego program, more so of last year’s sophomore team than the varsity.

“For me, it’s just trying to get buy in from the older guys that have had things a certain way for a few years, connecting with Dasean. I think him and I have a good relationship so far and continuing to connect with the younger guys,” Oraham said. “I’m continuing to learn more about the players, their strengths and weaknesses, connecting with other faculty members, getting their perception of the program, how we’ll do things going forward.”