Jeff Chatman, Brent Stephenson, Tom Gneiting, Scott Runia, Jay Cheesman, Glen Roberts - that's how the Woodbury Corp. team roster reads in men's open basketball at the 1988 Utah Summer Games. And add to that list of seven former BYU hoopsters another noteable ex-Cougar, Brian Taylor, who begged paternal leave, with his wife recently having given birth.
And then there's the name of Karl Tilleman on the roster, to which most people might say "Who's that?" or "Who cares?". His appearance initially begs the same response - a smallish, slender 27-year-old who looks all the part of having stepped fresh off the local ward team and out of church-league hoops. Even Chatman kids about "the Mormon look - the receding hairline."But Tilleman has proved he belongs in Cedar City at the 1988 Utah Summer Games, as well as on the court with his more locally acclaimed teammates. His weekend participation, however, is merely part of his preparation for the 1988 Summer Games - the real ones, the biggies, the Seoul Olympics - as a member of the Canadian national basketball team.
His involvement with the Canadian squad dates back to 1982, about the same time he was a national hoop hero playing at the University of Calgary. In fact, his 29-point-plus scoring average set a Canadian standard - and that was before the collegiate game took in the three-pointer.
A Pan American Games participant and part of the Canadian contingent that won gold and bronze medals in recent years at the World University Games, Tilleman also played at the 1984 Summer Olympics - the year when upstart Canada suffered a three-point heart-breaking defeat to Yugoslavia in the bronze-medal contest.
Soon after the Los Angeles Olympics, Tilleman
found himself back in the L.A. area - not playing but preaching as a missionary for the LDS Church. Just as his 18-month service was coming to a close, the national team coach called up all excited - the three-point shot was in and how soon would he be coming back home to Canada?
"That's my game," he says of the trey. "I was shooting all those shots before."
And it was those kinds of long-range, 25-foot jumpers that caught Chatman's attention one day while playing pick-up hoops at the BYU Smith Fieldhouse. "I said, "Who in the world is that, and why isn't he playing here?' " Ready to start his second year at BYU's law school, Tilleman is trying to juggle intensive coursework, basketball training and family - his wife, Holly, and their 7-month-son joined him for the weekend in Cedar City.
It may be one of the few times they see hubby and daddy compete in person this year. Consider Tilleman's April-to-September schedule: April, national team tryouts in Canada; May, Olympic qualifications in Uruguay; June, the Utah Games in Cedar City; July, a Canadian team tour through China; August, team training back in Canada; and September, the Olympics in South Korea. Talk about your frequent-flyer mileage - international-style.
Of course, long distance isn't foreign to Tilleman, who seems to be most comfortable when he's farthest from the hoop. In Woodbury's opening game Thursday morning, his 23-point outburst in the third period broke open a close game - he finshed with 40 points, including 11 three-pointers. In a semifinal affair later Thursday afternoon, he tallied a mere 21 points and only five treys - but that was playing with four fouls for most of the second half, picking up his fifth and disqualifying foul midway in the fourth quarter, and playing with only about 90 minutes rest between games.
In Saturday's gold-medal loss to the Utah State-stocked Pro Image team, Tilleman tallied a more sedate 16 points, thanks to some in-your-shirt defense by Aggie guard Reid Newey - himself a long sharpshooter - and former USU gridder Fred Fernandez. But Tilleman's second of two treys knotted the score at 81-all with less than a minute to play - the only time the score was tied since early in the first quarter.
After Woodbury Corp. accepted its silver medals Saturday afternoon, youngsters crowded around the former BYU players - OK, mainly around Chatman - for autographs.
And what was Tilleman doing up in the stands? Packing his bag, of course - have shot, will travel.