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Interview with Mr. Tyler Kepkay
November 04, 2020

About Tyler Kepkay

Tyler Kepkay is a Canadian professional basketball player, currently playing for the Winling Basketball Club in Hong Kong. He is a veteran member of the Canadian national basketball team. He is also a representative for Adidas as one of Asia’s leading basketball figures. Tyler founded the IMPACT Basketball Academy in 2016, dedicating to nurturing students’ physical, social, and character development through basketball.

Background and Achievements

Coach Tyler graduated from the University of Utah on a scholarship with a degree in Communications and Marketing. He attended The College of Eastern Utah for Junior College on a basketball scholarship where he led the entire nation in scoring his sophomore season averaging 27.9 ppg en route to being named First Team Junior College All-American. Through his discipline and dedication he earned over 50 basketball scholarships from top NCAA Division I Universities across the United States. He eventually settled for the University of Utah where he led the Utah Utes to a 24-9 record and qualified as the 5th seed entering the 2009 NCAA tournament. Upon graduating from Utah, Tyler entered professional basketball in the Top 2 Leagues in Germany for four years and led the league in scoring for one season. During the summer of his professional career, Tyler participated with the Canadian Senior grasp everyopportunity - persistence makes perfect In view of the huge volume of wine produced by Yuet Wo in the past, the Customs and Excise Department stationed an officer to work in Yuet Wo everyday to levy tax on the wine produced. grasp everyopportunity - persistence makes perfect 06 Harbour Lights Men’s National Team playing alongside NBA players such as Samuel Dalembert of the Milwaukee Bucks, Kelly Olynyk of the Boston Celtics, and Joel Anthony of the Miami Heat. He has also competed in FIBA International competitions with Team Canada and played against the world’s best basketball players such as Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Yao Ming, and Dirk Nowitzki.

Is playing basketball you dream long since you were young?

Have you considered working on something else than having basketball as a career? Yes, it has always been my hobby, my passion and later on, a dream career on mine. When I was small, I enjoyed a variety of sports like hockey, basketball, soccer and so on. I focused on basketball at around 13 years old in junior high. Upon receiving scholarships, I was driven to see basketball as my life and career goal. I do not buy in the saying that playing sports for a career is risk-taking. What is risk-taking is not about the nature occupation, but one’s attitude towards it - whether one believes in it. I enjoyed basketball a lot; I see the opportunities in it. That is! It’s enough for me to carrying it on. Life is not about calculating for the unseen days but making good use of what one is blessed with.


We are good to have you now in Hong Kong. What draws you to Hong Kong actually? It’s actually not a planned move. I was in a break between contracts when I visited a friend of mine in Hong Kong back then. Opportunities came in and I decided to stay here. I think that while life can be full of challenges, there are also lots of opportunities at the same time. To be able to grab the opportunities, we need open minds and hearts. Don’t be limited by the picture at the moment but reach out for bigger visions – that we can see more opportunities ahead.


Is there any observation from the culture of basketball training and playing in Hong Kong? Yes. First of all, it’s about how people learn: Hong Kong students are of huge potential and excellent learning skills – but lack of confidence. Compare with students with an international background, students in Hong Kong are relatively shy, more following than trying, need a lot more encouragements in general. They are hard-working fast learners. They seem to feel easier in learning through modelling than in learning through trial and error. While I am not to comment on this cultural difference, I believe that having courage in learning from mistakes can definitely help one to excel and break through one’s limit. This is particularly one of the key spirits which I want to pass on by setting by the IMPACT Basketball Academy.


Secondly, it’s about people’s expectations in how to learn: The pace in Hong Kong is fast and most of the KPIs here are about efficiency. This may be good for business and economy, but when it comes to training and learning, patience is needed. I feel like people from the West in general, are more patient in skills building and in step-by-step learning. Hong Kong students are ambitious, but they may have ignored that fact that it takes time and continuous efforts in achieving a true and sustainable success. We cannot jump steps. We need to learn humbly. We need to be willing to spend time to build skills up one at a time.


Team training seems to be difficult now under the COVID-19 challenge. How would you advise your students to keep up with the sports? How do you overcome this challenge for your business? True. In person training is important for basketball training. Yet, it is not the only thing we need. If we can see things in more details – I may not have team training for myself everyday either but I still need to practice some bite-size skills every day. I am asking them not to be limited by the circumstances; not to be challenged by the limitations. There must be ways out when we are willing to look out.

Can you describe three character traits of yourself which contributed to your success?

Number one, fearless- Fearless when facing challenges; with a problem-solving attitude. Number two, resilience – to stand firm amid difficult conditions. Number three, self-disciplined – always seeking out to learn know knowledge, to keep myself in shape.


What makes a good leader?

I think it’s empathy. To be a leader, it is not enough just to work hard or to be skillful in your profession. You need to understand what your peers think and feel. You need to make your hard work and your skills convincing. It’s about winning people’s hearts on top of the hardware professional skills.


Any advice to our youngsters?

Be open-minded to see challenges. There are always opportunities together with difficulties. Again, be creative; be courageous. Then you can see how to keep yourselves up despite the surrounding seemingly limitations.