Ryan Coody Photography
Preston Wynne, Spokane, drives to the basket.

Spokane Player Wins MVP at NAIA National Basketball Tournament

Jack McNeel

You were tournament MVP in junior college as well.  How do you compare the two MVP awards?

For me, awards are not really that great. It’s more the experience than the award. The award doesn’t say to me the best player, it says a great experience. I even told my coach he could keep the award in the trophy case, but he’s trying to make me keep it.

Why couldn’t you sign with a D-1 school after junior college?

There was a rule that after you turn 21 you cannot play in any organized basketball event outside of college basketball or they would take a year of eligibility away. I played two years of basketball tournaments after I turned 21 because I started college when I was 23.

What happened after high school?

I had my son my senior year and dropped out of school. I finished online at home while I watched him. I only played part of that year and wasn’t getting many junior college looks. After that, I had another kid and didn’t feel like playing basketball and leaving Isis and Jameer to pursue my dream. I started playing in Native tournaments. I now have another child, Kale.

Preston Wynne receives MVP award at the National NAIA basketball championships where his school, Vanguard University, was national champions and Preston was also named 1st Team All American. (Ryan Coody Photography)

How did you fit in with your teammates, being older and married?

I’m a good people person for the most part. I don’t try to separate myself from anybody. They treated me like their older brother pretty much. It was really amazing the way they kind of took me in. I was 27, so I wasn’t even the oldest on the team.

Any regrets at not being able to play D-1?

No regrets whatsoever. The only thing a D-1 college could have for me that a NAIA wouldn’t, was exposure to the professional level.

What does your future hold in terms of basketball and beyond?

I’m going to try the NBA thing. But if that doesn’t work out, there’s probably a spot overseas for me. Hopefully, I can get on a really good overseas team and make some money for a couple of years. I’m trying to make enough money so I can go back to the rez and be financially stable. I’m going to try to work with troubled youth and see if I can change some things.





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