A star on the basketball court, Tyrell Mara shines just as brightly off of it.
The senior forward for the Trinity Western Spartans men’s basketball team, Mara was named the Canada West nominee for the Ken Shields Award as the top student-athlete.
The fifth-year masters of business student has been a top defensive player and rebounder in the Canada West this season — he was fifth with 8.9 rebounds per game while also chipping in with 11 points per game — and an inspirational leader both on and off the court.
Off the court, Mara led the team in a program for underprivileged children in inner-city Langley. He also spent Sunday’s cooking meals for the homeless at a local church, while also volunteering on a regular basis to cook and interact with the homeless.
“Through his abilities, he had made our team tougher and elevated all players’ competitive fire at every practice and in every game,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen.
“But above all, Tyrell also gives back to the community and has a passion for helping others reach their potential.
“Tyrell is always giving, and his perseverance in basketball and in life makes all those around him better and holds the team accountable to our goals.”
Mara, who is from White Rock and spent the first few years of his post-secondary career with the University of Portland, also volunteer coaches at a high school and co-ordinates a weekly program for Karen youth in downtown Langley where he leads a basketball course for children in Grades 4-6 for the local immigrant population.