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A very special father: Marty Haws has done everything he can to help his children succeed

Published: Saturday, June 14 2014 10:45 p.m. MDT

Said one of the sons: "My dad only rebounds for me. He hasn't dared to play me one-on-one since I was 13."

Another son’s quote: "My dad doesn't have to say anything at my games. I can hear his voice in my head and know what he’s thinking."

That is a gift, says Holt, a Haws watcher for a decade and a half.

“What Marty understands is that the better job he does at developing his boys as young men, the better they are at playing basketball,” said Holt. “He’s used basketball as the vehicle to develop his boys into tremendous young men.

“Time, commitment, work and focus — all the things coaches love about basketball — Marty’s just seized on that. Those boys have worked hard for everything they’ve got. Their church gym has been worked over by Marty and those kids for hours, hours and hours and that has carried over to them gaining character and becoming outstanding young men. That character makes champions and balance is the key to sport.”

Holt has traveled extensively with his AAU team and Marty and his sons. Three years ago when TJ and many of his AAU teammates were making it big on the national scene as 10th-graders, Holt was hip deep in working as Orem High's basketball coach. He was getting some pushback from parents because he was demanding a lot of their time: “Well, I have Scout camp," they'd tell him. "I have a vacation planned. I can be here this time but not that time.” Holt was thinking, “Hey, we’ve got to be all in if we want to be champions."

He decided to call Marty because he trusted his judgment as a barometer and catalyst of what to demand. “Do you think, in basketball, we do too much?” he asked. “Do we ask too much?”

Holt thought he’d get in a long philosophical discussion from Marty.

Instead, Marty fired back, “No, there’s never too much. Golden, all I know is if we aren’t in the gym working that morning our competitor is, and he’s getting better, so there’s never too much.”

“This is why,” said Holt, “Tyler is reaching every bit of the talent God has given him and TJ is nipping at his heels.”

Continuing my intrusion into the Haws family, I fired off some questions to Tiffanie about Marty’s father modus operandi.

Deseret News: How did Marty get a boy to get out of bed so early to go work out?

Tiffanie Haws: Marty was always very honest with our boys' strengths and weaknesses. He never sugarcoated anything to them. I think he told them from a very early age that if they didn't get up and work out that they simply would not be able to attain what they wanted to attain. Having said that, Marty would have been fine if they would have wanted to only play rec ball, but both of our boys came with a dream to do more.

DN: What made your kids so competitive, to really care so deeply about winning and succeeding?

TH: I know a lot of that just comes with you, but Ty and TJ grew up in (an extended) family that lives and dies for sports. Every year since the time Ty was 3 years old his Grandpa Ralph (Haws) has held an annual kids basketball camp. Cousins and uncles get pretty intense and competitive out on the court. When you grow up in that type of environment, you can't help but want to be good. Ty always wanted to succeed like his dad. TJ always believed he was better than both of them. We have had many one-on-one games on our court that have ended in tears and sometimes a little blood.

DN: Has Marty taught that winning is important as a goal but isn't everything? How did he do it?

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