Kyler McClary joined PPI-SA as our newest Fellow in May 2012. In this week’s blog, we get to know Kyler a little bit better.
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
College: Willamette University ‘09
Favorite NBA Team: Portland Trail Blazers and anyone beating the Lakers
How did you become interested in PeacePlayers International?
It was like a perfect match. I love basketball, I love coaching and teaching, and I love getting out and exploring new cultures and communities. When I first heard of PeacePlayers through a friend, I immediately started exploring the application process and I am very grateful that I was eventually given the opportunity to join the PPI-SA team.
How long have you been playing basketball? What kind of influence has it had on your life?
I have been playing basketball since I could walk, and somehow, maybe even before that. My dad was a basketball coach so I was always around the game. The sport has played such a large role in shaping who I am that I am excited to share my knowledge and passion for basketball in a country where the game does not receive the same type of attention as some of the more traditional sports (soccer, rugby, cricket, and others).
What has been your favorite experience with PPI-SA so far?
I was fortunate enough to arrive in South Africa just before we held a city-wide tournament. It was an incredible event where all of PPI-SA’s players, coaches, and staff, were all in one place for a day full of basketball, fun, and camaraderie. As a new member of the PPI-SA staff, I could not have asked for a better introductory event to acquaint me with the organization and its people.
Who is your favorite basketball player? Why?
Dirk. Duh. He’s so fun to watch, and I like to steal his moves. No one ever expected him to be as good as he is today when he was the super-awkward German kid playing alongside Steve Nash. He developed a unique skill set and perfected it.
What makes a great coach?
A great coach is a mentor first-and-foremost. A great coach influences players both on and off the court, and is someone who can measure their success not by wins and losses, but by the impact they have made on their players and their community.
What can basketball teach young people about life?
Where do I start? Each session on the court provides a new opportunity to grow, experience, and learn. Acquisition of, and practice with, key life skills such as teamwork, leadership, commitment, hard work, goal setting, problem solving, and physical fitness are just a few of the many benefits of playing on a basketball team.