Cougars star ‘baller Glen Yang reflects on career
By Dan Khavkin, Sports Editor
Glen Yang has been with the Cougars since the early days of the school’s university ranks, experiencing both hardships and the fruits of prosperity leading up to his final nights suiting up in the navy Cougar blue and attests to the upwards direction of his soon-to-be alumni program.
Originally born in Vancouver, Yang moved to Hong Kong at the tender age of five. Attending an international school for most of his upbringing, he began to find his love for the sport of basketball to an unique extent.
He explains that not many treated the sport with as much affection as he did and he continued to grow his skill to a mastery level.
“I feel like I outgrew the basketball culture there, in my opinion,” he says. “By the time I was 15, I was striving for high level basketball.”
Moving back to Calgary, because his mother’s family is originally from the city, he attended Sir Winston Churchill high school — a school known for its basketball prowess.
He moved on to MRU on the basis of wanting to contribute to growing a program and leaving a print on Cougar basketball.
“Seeing the development,” has been one his crowning accomplishments during his time at Mount Royal.
He adds, “The culture wasn’t as good as it was when I got here and we felt it was building over the seasons.”
He explains how the program climbed a rung up the ladder every year has changed him along with the basketball program.
“Every season was to improve. As a group we had to trust the process, getting better every summer and improving little by little every season. It cultivated into this year where we made playoffs and are ready to make a playoff run for the first time,” he says. “I grew a lot. I feel like I came in as a boy and I’m leaving a man both on and off the court.
“Obviously on the court I’ve grown a lot, putting in a ton of hours in that gym that we have. It’s been a long journey but I matured a lot,” he continues. “I made lots of relationships through athletics and classes, met my best friends here and those relationships that will last a lifetime.”
Of those memories, Yang recalls his most unforgettable one that took place just a few weeks ago while on a road game against top-contender Lethbridge. With the dying seconds running down the clock, Yang cocked back from beyond the arch to sink a contested three-pointer right before the buzzer to secure his Cougars squad a huge 104-103 decision away from home.
“It was a big win for us. I’ve never won there in my career and that shot was really fun to make.”
Moments and memories such as that epic buzzer beater, is what Yang says he will always take with him after his time at MRU.
Yang’s parents were also an important part of his success.
“Special shoutout to my mom and my dad for all their continued support throughout my basketball years. I definitely would not be in this position without them,” says Yang.
“My mom’s support has been pretty legendary in particular. She’s my favourite fan! She hasn’t missed a home game in five years and that’s pretty amazing in my opinion. I’m really lucky to have them in my corner.”
Yang ended the regular season as the leading scorer and was also the Cougars captain in his senior year, which was capped off with the Cougars reaching the playoffs for the first time since the move to USPORTS.
“This year made me feel like I was the best version of myself so far,” he says.
“Feels good … It means a lot but we’re not trying to be too emotional about it because we still have a run to make but when we’re done and reflect, we know it’ll mean that much more.”
He goes on to explain, “It’s been an up and down year. Sometimes I didn’t know if we’d make it, sometimes I thought we would be a higher seed so it definitely feels good to end off the career like that.”
Yang adds, “every year we got a little better. Those last four years have been nothing short of a heartbreak. The last game, we had to watch other teams to see if they won or lost which meant either we’re in or out so this year it was in our hands and we got the job done. We felt that much better.”
He concludes, “I feel like we’re in good hands. I like the young guys. They’re getting better and learning the ideals of Cougars basketball. The culture is there and the coaching staff is good.”