Former Cougar to be recognized for his multi-sport achievements
Tyler Wright is a multiple time all-star in basketball, third all-time in scoring for the men’s basketball team at the University of Regina, as well as an eight-time member of Saskatchewan’s provincial team, and recently placed seventh at the Canadian Mid-Amateur championships for golf. Now he can add hall of famer to his long list of accomplishments.
The former Cougar standout is being inducted into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 8, along with a number of other big names from the Regina sports scene, including his father and former NHLer, Larry Wright.
“It feels almost like a dream come true. I wouldn’t say I had that written down goal, but the goal for any athlete is to be recognized beyond the yearly recognitions, like player of the year or winning a championship,” Wright tells the Carillon. “The Hall of Fame recognizes my year-to-year dedication to those sports. I’m proud to be from Canada, Saskatchewan and Regina and I feel honoured that I get to represent the Hall of Fame in Regina.”
While the people going into the Hall of Fame this year have done special things in their respective fields, Wright is unique among them, being inducted for his exploits in basketball and golf.
“It’s special, but I put in a lot of time and energy to both of them,” says Wright. “It’s really neat going in with both, because it reflects on the time and commitment that I had to put in to find success.”
Wright started his rise to success in both sports early, going through the ranks of high school, and at the U of R as well. Golf is something that Wright will be able to do until he, “kicks the bucket,” but he also noted that he was fortunate to have come into the basketball program at the right time.
“The five years I got to play college basketball I was lucky, having the right people and coaches, and those people allowed me to find success.”
Wright has managed to stay involved in the basketball community as much as he can, including his own camp, Off the Bounce, which is a specialized camp focusing on basketball players developing their jumpshots.
“I’ve coached basketball at Miller, Riffel and O’Neil, for sixteen years. I have run Off the Bounce Shooting Camp for twelve years with Wade Hackl, the assistant coach at the U of R. Over the years, I’ve committed time to Basketball Saskatchewan, and have done various camps and workshops with club teams,” Wright says. “As for golf, I’m still competing so I’m spending my summers preparing for those competitions. My commitment has been mostly to my practice and tournament schedule, and developing my game, so I’m ready for competition.”
When it comes to the U of R, Wright has less time than he would like, but still manages to be involved in a major way, helping to host the event Hog-A-Rama with many alumni, and the current members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
“Since 2005-06, I’ve been involved in Hog-A-Rama, one of the primary fundraisers of the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Up ‘til now, we’ve raised upwards of close to half a million dollars,” Wright states proudly. “I’m very fortunate to be a part of the committee and give back in that way. I don’t make a lot of money, but I’m very happy to donate the time and energy.”
Like all athletes, Wright has had many people in his life that have had a major effect on his career as an athlete. Whether it’s his family, close friends or teammates and coaches, there’s no shortage of people who have helped Wright become the man that he is today.
“Obviously, my parents are huge contributors. So are my daughters, Scarlett and Indiana, and my wife, Jennifer. They allow me to continue to golf and coach, and take time out of being at home, for which I’m very thankful,” Wright says with a smile.
“As for significant contributors, Tracy Fuchs, the principal at O’Neil, and Bill Allen. Both of them coached me two years in high school, and they were both very kind, allowing me to develop as a player and as a person. As for University, clearly James Hillis and Steve Burrows were significant. I learned a lot about basketball in university, and they believed in me, and when people believe in you, it’s easier to find success.”
Lastly, Wright talks about the people who helped him become a very successful golfer. Many of these people and communities continue to be a part of his golf career today.
“With golf, in particular Gord Burgess and Graham Coulter, have been my golf coaches, as well as the Royal Regina and Wascana golf courses. The Regina community of golf has been very supportive of me.”
Looking back on his career, Wright noted some of the major things that he learned. Wright continues to apply what he’s learned to his current career, and his continuing golf career.
“There’s a vast array of different traits that I transferred from sports to my career,” Wright states. “I’ve never been afraid to work hard and put the time in. I’m motivated and a goal setter, and all those things transfer over, and I’m not sure how they couldn’t. It’s easy to apply those things to your academics and your career. I would say for sure that I’m a good teammate. I’m not in it for me, I’m in it for us.”
Wright might be getting inducted into the Hall of Fame soon, but his story as a contributor to the basketball community, and amateur golfer will continue to grow.