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LVR Bomber great Greg DeVries in a class of his own — selected to U of Alberta Sports Wall of Fame

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
August 10th, 2011

By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports

The only player in Bomber history to have his number retired is now one of a few Golden Bear basketball stars to be inducted into the University of Alberta Sports Wall of Fame.

L.V. Rogers’ grad Greg DeVries earned the elite honour during ceremonies in Edmonton in the fall of 2010.

DeVries, back in Nelson City to watch his kids participate in the Cyswogn’Fun Triathlon during the B.C. Day Holiday weekend, talked about his recent achievement.

“It’s pretty special to be recognized by the induction committee and join the elite list of University of Alberta athletes on the universities’ Sports Wall of Fame,” DeVries told The Nelson Daily.

“It’s definitely the biggest in my career but right up there with having my number retired at LVR.”

The Sports Wall of Fame honour is awarded to former University of Alberta Athletes who established outstanding achievements while participating in the University of Alberta Athletic Programs.

DeVries, who graduated from U of A in 1996 with a Bachelor of Education, did more than just provide outstanding achievements.

The 37-year-old Abbotsford math teacher was named MVP in 1995 and received national recognition twice as an Academic All-Canadian and twice as a Sport All-Canadian as a shooting guard with the Alberta Golden Bears Men’s Basketball Team.

Under the guidance of head coach Don Horwood, he shattered the all-time leading scoring record at Alberta in December of his final season— the record now stands at 2,740 points — and also won the U of A’s Wilson Challenge Trophy and was named CIS National Championship First All-Star from 1993 to 1996.

“It’s pretty special honour because the last basketball player to be inducted was in the 1950s and there have been a lot of great players to go through the Bears’ program since,”  explained DeVries, part of LVR 1992 Graduating class.

“So for them to recognize me is quite humbling.”

Of course, basketball is a team game. And while the individual achievements are nice, the real goal is to win the grand prize. DeVries was part of that special team in 1994.

The Bears, under the guidance of head coach Don Horwood, posted an 18-2 record in the regular season en route to claiming the first-ever CIS Men’s Basketball championship with a 73-66 victory over McMaster at the Metro Centre in Halifax.

During the run DeVries dropped in a whopping 35 points in a 89-85 overtime victory over St. Mary’s during the opening round of the tournament.

“We were down by two with four seconds left and I made a shot to put the game into overtime,” DeVries said. “That was definitely a highlight for me and a coming out party as nobody really knew about me until then.”

Nobody really knew about DeVries during his first few seasons despite coming to Alberta as one of the top shooters in B.C. High School Boy’s Basketball.

At the AA provincials, DeVries, who once scored 82 points — a Bomber single-game record — during a home date against the Grand Forks Wolves, set many marks that still stand today.

However, at Alberta the Bomber grad struggled to find any consistency until the end of his sophomore year.

Once his shooting stroke started to click, DeVries became one of the most feared weapons in the Golden Bear arsenal.

“This (honour) really out of blue for me,” DeVries, who teamed up with Steve Nash to form a heavyweight back court for a Basketball B.C. Provincial Team.

“They have a lot of athletes on the wall of fame. I never imagined for one minute being part of it so being there be is pretty cool.”

Retired from competitive basketball, DeVries had joined the ranks of father and coach.

The father of three — Tyus, Abigail and Keyan — and married to wife Lisa is currently is the math department head at Abbotsford Collegiate School in the Fraser Valley.

However DeVries still remains active on the sports scene as he coaches basketball and football.

Categories: Sports

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