CHICAGO, ILL–He represented Canada over twenty years ago, defeating a team that consisted of NBA greats, Charles Barkley and Karl Malone in 1983. In 1984, he was part of a team that captured fourth place at the Olympics.
His name is Greg Wiltjer, father and mentor to Kentucky bound Kyle Wiltjer. Although younger Wiltjer was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, his roots remain Canadian, owning a dual citizenship and playing for the Canadian national program.
Essentially, Greg has passed the torch on to his son while guiding his basketball career thus far.
“One thing that I feel I can bring as a father and former player is experience, I’ve been through it,” said Wiltjer.”
But it was a close call as hockey almost completely gravitated Greg toward the ice instead of the hardwood.
“I grew up between Canada and Germany and my dream was to play in the NHL, to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, my biggest thrill.”
Luckily for the younger Wiltjer, Greg’s growth spurt naturally influenced the family toward a basketball culture! Kentucky’s Coach Calipari along with the Wildcat fanbase couldn’t be happier as they have confirmed the 6’9 hybrid forward joining an elite recruitng class consisting of Michael Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis. Oh yes, all being McDonald All-Americans!
Greg Wiltjer describes kyle as, “A kid that has an inside and outside game, developed a little bit of a European attitude that I picked up playing pro ball in Europe.”
However, Kyle has his sights set on the League, and will use all-star events such as the McDonald’s All-American game as a platform to woo over NBA scouts.
“His ultimate goal is to play in the NBA and these events like the McDonald’s All-American game, Jordan Brand game and Canadian National team are all part of the path to get to the ultimate goal.”
Catch Kyle Wiltjer on ESPN along with fellow Canadians Myck Kabongo and Khem Birch as they take the floor in the McDonald’s All-American Game tonight at 9:00 PM!
Stay tuned on NPH for exclusive interviews, game coverage, and player features!
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