Basketball a family affair for the Allens
Being the coach’s son is never an easy role.
“It has been tough for him, there is no doubt about it,” admits Scott Allen, the head coach of the Trinity Western Spartans men’s basketball team.
“No matter what — and I am not putting myself on any type of pedestal — as the coach’s son, there are expectations.”
He was discussing the relationship he has with his son, Tyus, an incoming freshman to the Spartans program next season.
“As a father, I am extremely proud that he has become a way better athlete than I ever was and accomplished a lot,” Scott said.
“He has a lot more determination and drive than I do.”
From an early age, sports played a central role in Tyus’ life.
His bedroom was more like a large rec room, and the youngster was walking at nine months of age – with a hockey stick in his hand. He was skating at 18 months.
“It was almost like a training ground for him,” Scott described.
“It was probably over-exuberance from a father.”
The coach admits he may have gone overboard but has no regrets.
“From my perspective, looking back now, I think Tyus was pushed pretty hard,” Scott said.
“I am extremely proud that he has become a way better athlete than I ever was and accomplished a lot. He has more determination and drive than I did.”
“It had its pros and cons,” admits Tyus.
“When I was younger, it was a lot weirder; there was a distance between us.
“Being older now, I don’t mind it; I can see the good in it.”
“He is my dad but I just treat him like every other coach,” Tyus added.
“Give him respect and do what he asks.”
The father/son relationship has had its ups and downs.
Inevitably, there have been times where Tyus may have felt his father was singling him out or being extra tough on him.
But he learned to just shake it off and focus on the task at hand.
“I know he just wants the best for me,” Tyus said.
“He is just pushing me harder, he wants better results.”
It wasn’t always easy on the coach, either.
“As a parent, it is really hard to remove yourself,” Scott said.
“Every parent watches their kids play and I think that was really hard for me to do as a coach, is to try and watch the team as a whole.”
Another tough part of the relationship stemmed from Scott accepting the job at Trinity Western.
Prior to that, he had been the long-time coach at White Rock Christian Academy and he departed the school just as his son was entering Grade 8.
“He has been in that (White Rock Christian Academy) gym since he was born,” Scott said.
“He has watched everybody go through that gym and talk about what they needed to do to get to the next level.
“For him, it was difficult when I left, knowing that he had the next five years to get through to the next step, without having his dad there.”
“It was kind of bittersweet,” Tyus said about the decision to move from the high school to the university ranks.
“I was looking forward to him coaching. (And) a lot of my friends came to the school to be coached by him and I know some of them were unhappy when he left.”
Scott also felt it was a good opportunity for his son to learn on his own.
This past season, Scott was able to help out with coaching the White Rock Christian team, as they finished second at the B.C. high school AAA boys championships back in March.
And now father and son will be reunited on the hardwood at Trinity Western.
“He watched us get second place (at nationals) a few years back and wants to be part of the program in trying to get us to the top,” Scott said.
Tyus explored attending other schools — both in Canada and the U.S. — but decided the Spartans were the right fit.
“I know the guys (on the team) and like being able to live relatively close to home,” said Tyus.
Scott’s looking forward to it, too.
“The five years we lost … I get that time back now,” Scott said.
“And he is more mature now; we have the father/son relationship, but now we have more of a friendship as he gets older.
“He is old enough now to look past when I am hard on him; he knows the reason I am hard on him is because I care about him and want to see him do well.”
Tyus is looking forward to continuing to learn from his dad.
“There are no shortcuts, that has always been the thing he has said and it really is true,” Tyus said.