Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball are hoping that genetics will result in success. Head coach Scott Clark and the ‘Pack are pleased to welcome 6’4” shooting guard/small forward Tyus De Vries from Sardis Secondary School in Chilliwack, BC to the program.
De Vries will be joining the ‘Pack program as of this September. He becomes TRU’s third high school recruit for the 2017-18 Canada West season and second straight from the Upper Fraser Valley.
“I chose to attend Thompson Rivers because it’s relatively close to home,” says Tyus, who played alongside fellow recruit Jon Steele (G.W. Graham Middle-Secondary) with the Trans Canada club program. “ They are an up and coming USport program and I believe the coaching staff and current players are working hard to make TRU basketball as good as it can be.”
“Tyus has good skills and has a good frame on him,” says Clark. “He is young. He doesn’t turn 18 until December. He has some growth and development in him still which I think is something we are looking for. There is a lot of potential and growth in him from a basketball standpoint. From a physical stand point and academic standpoint. He is intriguing.”
Clark says he didn’t intentionally recruit De Vries and Steele together. “It worked out that way. One of my better friends who is a coach in the Lower Mainland told me about Tyus. I got some tape on him. Watched it and was very intrigued. He came up on his visit and really did well against our guys. Tyus is a good student and in fact, is getting some economic aid based on his marks.”
De Vries will be taking courses aimed at earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at TRU. He was contemplating attending either Trinity Western University, Briercrest Bible College or his parent’s Alma matter: the University of Alberta.
His father Greg was a Golden Bear from 1991-96 where he was part of a Canada West champion, two CIAU championships and a silver medal at nationals. He was a two time All-Canadian, three time Academic All Canadian and retired as Alberta’s all-time leading scorer. His mother Lisa played at the University of Alberta from 1990-1992. Both have had a big part in Tyus’ development.
“I’d say his development is pretty extensive since Grade 4” laughs Greg, who coached his son from Grade 4 through to high school. “Notably in his senior season where we worked on his explosiveness, craftiness in scoring, rebounding and constant movement off the ball to make the defense work at times.”
Greg adds: “His strengths most definitely lie in his shooting abilities. He can shoot effectively from any location on the court. He averaged 30 points per game throughout his senior season despite facing much attention including box and 1’s and double teams regularly. Despite his scoring prowess he is a smart unselfish player, willing to set up his teammates and make the right pass to obtain a better shot in the offense. He also averaged 15 rebounds and 6 assists per game in Grade 12.”
“I will definitely have to improve my speed and strength to see court time,’ Tyus stated about what he has to do to adjust to life in the Canada West/USport.
To which coach/dad Greg agrees: “In order for him to succeed at the U sports level Tyus will need to increase his explosiveness. As with any high school athlete, his level of compete and intensity at all times, will also need to grow as the disparity in these attributes between high school and U-sports is large. Provided his work ethic in the weight room and individual daily training in the gym continues I believe he will grow into a strong contributor at TRU during his 5 years. “
Tyus should have no trouble fitting in with the WolfPack’s many community initiatives. He has volunteered growing up at home (Fraser Valley Gleaners and summer church camps) along with places abroad (Thailand, London, Mexico and Ecuador).
Besides De Vries and Steele, the other WolfPack recruit coming out of high school is 6’8” forward Devin Halcrow of Nor Kam Secondary in Kamloops, BC.
DOUBLE DRIBBLES: Greg De Vries comparing himself to Tyus at his age: “Tyus is very similar to myself at his age. He is stronger, having been hitting the weight room daily for a year plus. He is a couple inches taller, has a better handle, and is capable of pushing himself at a greater intensity than I was at this age. While I scored more in high school (38 ppg to 30) he rebounds better (15 rpg to 12) and played against tougher competition than I faced at LV Rogers in Nelson.”
Tyus’ club coach at Trans Canada Basketball was Jake Mouritzen who is the head coach at G.W. Graham Middle-Secondary in Sardis, BC: “Tyus Devries lives, sleeps and breaths basketball. I have known Tyus since he was a little, skinny 12 year old who loved the game of basketball and dreamed of playing at the CIS level. Even back then back then he could shoot the lights out in any gym! The basketball pedigree runs deep in the Devries family, as Tyus’s Dad is the great Greg DeVries who stared of the University of Alberta in the mid 90’s. Coach/Dad De Vries has taught his son every shooting tip in the book, and this has created young confident man ready to take the next step in his basketball and school career. “
Mouritzen adds: “I have known and worked with the De Vries family for the last six years at both the school and club basketball level. Tyus is young man who will never give up and never take no for an answer. Tyus has worked hard on his game at both ends of the floor and his shooting abilities from the outside are equal to any BC high school graduate of 2017. Not only does Tyus excel on the court, he will also come to TRU with one of the best GPA’s in this year’s graduating class and work ethic in the classroom like no other. TransCanada Basketball is super proud of Tyus’s efforts at the high school and club level, and know that Tyus is going to go on to great things at TRU. “