Spencer “Ria” Wyman stood in front of 140 young basketball campers in a gym a few blocks away from Vivint Smart Home Arena and tried to find the words to explain how he got there. The No. 1 overall selection by Jazz Gaming in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft, Ria was the special guest speaker that afternoon at a Rookie Camp session of Jazz Youth’s Camps and Clinics.
“It was kind of surreal,” said Wyman, a three-sport athlete in high school who spent countless summers at similar camps when he was growing up near Seattle. “Going to those camps and they bring out the guests you really admire and look up to, being one of those people was a really nice feeling.”
The boys and girls, who were between the ages of four and 14, had no shortage of questions for the professional NBA 2K League player. They listened intently as he detailed a typical day in the life of a member of Jazz Gaming, told them his favorite archetype in NBA 2K and encouraged them to find balance in everything they pursued.
“It was nice seeing their faces light up when they were asking these questions and the answers that I gave, how engaged they were with the questions,” said Wyman, who saw himself in the kids at the camp. “They have the same kind of passion as I did when I was a kid, playing games, playing basketball.”
Ria and his Jazz Gaming teammates have remained busy in the community throughout the season, mirroring the “doing good” efforts of their NBA parent club, the Utah Jazz. The entire team joined the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies for the annual Day of Service in April, the full roster encouraged STEM learning at the Boys and Girls Club in March, and Jazz Gaming players spent an afternoon with the Murray High School esports team last month.
Throughout his team’s efforts off the digital court, Wyman hopes their message resonates with kids who aspire to reach the height of their craft – whether it’s athletic, academic or esports: “Any goal that you have in life, as long as you put yourself to it and give it 110 percent, anything is really possible.”