Q&A: Tyler Hansbrough Tells Us Why He’s Thankful For Family

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With the holiday season upon us, there’s no better time to reflect on the role our families play in our success. They root for us, the help us get up when we’re down and they’re always there when we need them. With that in mind, we asked Toronto Raptors power forward and centre Tyler Hansbrough about the people who helped shape his life—plus the role models the man known as Psycho T considers a positive influence on an athlete’s development.
 
 
Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

BALLnROLL.com: Around what age did you start taking the sport of basketball seriously as a future player?

Tyler Hansbrough: I never really hung out with the wrong people. I always wanted to play basketball, so I grew up playing with all my friends. I’d probably say I got serious around my junior year in high school. I started playing really good, I started getting recruited, so that’s when I started taking it pretty serious.

BnR: It’s tough to get serious at a young age. Was there someone you could look up to for guidance who helped you along?

TH: I think it’s counter-productive when you try to force someone to get too serious about a sport, especially at a young age, but me and my dad worked out a lot. From early on, it’s something we always used to do. I used to go and watch him and his friends play pickup basketball, so I started playing around with him at an early age and that’s where I picked it up from.

BnR: You mentioned working out with your dad. How can parents help guide their kids down an athletic path without being overbearing?

TH: Well, I think kids should have fun. Don’t try to force them, not everybody is going to be in the NBA, and you can’t take it too seriously at a young age or it’s kind of a turn-off for kids. I think as long as the kids are having fun and playing multiple sports—I don’t really like people forcing their kids to play one sport, to be real serious about it. I like to see kids doing a bunch of different sports, and you know, eventually if they good enough, pick one sport later on.

BnR: What other sports did you play?

TH: I played a lot. Before I got to high school, I played soccer, I ran track, played a little of football—didn’t really like football that much, but I did everything. I cut out everything my sophomore year in high school and kind of stayed on basketball.

BnR: Was there any particular role model outside your family—a coach, a teacher—that helped make you the baller you are today?

TH: I was blessed to have a lot of good coaches early on. I was surrounded by a lot of good teammates, like all my friends in high school—especially my brothers. I still talk to them every day, we all have close bonds.

 
 
 
Good and bad influences, according to Tyler
 
Role model Good influence Bad influence
Your spiritual leader  X  
Your hard-nosed, hard-working father figure  X  
Michael Vick    X
The drunk-ass uncle at every family barbecue  X  
God  X  

 

  
 
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