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Albertsons Big Deal of the Week: Townsend Tripple (Rocky)
Rocky Mountain's senior basketball star will head to BYU to compete for the Cougars this fall
Published: 4/14/2020 1:36:17 PM

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Name: Townsend C. Tripple
School: Rocky Mountain 
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard

How did you first get interested in basketball?

From kindergarten to fifth grade, my dad was my coach and he instilled the love for the game in me.  He always made it fun and made playing the game something I loved, win or lose.  When I started thinking I could play at the next level, if I committed my time and energy to basketball, that’s when things got interesting and really competitive.  In sixth grade, I played club ball in Washington DC, then seventh- and eight-grade club ball when we moved back to North Carolina.

If you play other sports, which is your favorite and why?

I played football and ran/jumped in track in high school, and basketball is the only one that I’ve done all four years. It is by far my favorite sport because that is what I grew up playing.  It’s also something that I will continue to keep playing for years after I finish my organized career.  I am grateful for the opportunity to keep playing basketball at BYU, as a preferred walk-on.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from high school sports?

My seventh-grade middle school team in North Carolina lost every single game that season. Fast forward to Rocky, where we won almost every game and had a bullseye on our chests.  Every team we played when I was at Rocky brought their best effort against us. These experiences have taught me that if you’re the worst, or if you’re the best, you still have to bring your A-game every single time you play. Work hard, persevere and stay humble.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

My dad was a fighter pilot in the Air Force and his squadron in Mountain Home had the saying “fortune favors the bold.” This advice was very impactful and taught me that nothing was going to be given, it had to be earned. I had to go the extra mile and be bold, and good things would come of that.

What has been your favorite high school memory so far?

This past summer, before my senior year, going to tournaments with the guys was an awesome experience. We went undefeated for the summer, including the Gonzaga camp, Rocky Shoot-Out, and some Utah tournaments. The culmination was this fall when we played in the Great Western Shoot-Out and showed Utah’s best teams that Idaho doesn’t back down from a challenge. We beat Lone Peak, and took Wasatch Academy (one of the nation’s top programs) to double-overtime and only lost by 2. Even though we lost, it still felt like a win playing so well together as a team.

What coaches or teachers have made the biggest impact on your athletic career?

James Daye (who played at UNC for Coach Dean Smith) has been my skills trainer ever since we moved here my freshman year. He has molded me into the player I am today. He deconstructed my shot and put countless hours into improving it mechanically.  He almost doubled my 3-point shooting percentage from my junior (23%) to senior year (43%).

A big part of it was the Rocky staff. All the coaches worked with me and pushed me to play my best. Coach Sweaney, who has coached me since my freshman year, was my biggest motivator. He pushed me the hardest, and would watch film with me to make my game better. I feel like he’s always believed in me.

Jeremy Telford was my Reppin’ Club coach. He designed his program with guys like me in mind. Tall, lanky, and guys that typically would play post, got to rotate to the outside and play as guards and handle the ball. He also wouldn’t make us play on Sundays which was a big bonus for me.  He was an extremely positive influence and one of my biggest fans.

Which teammates have you really connected with during high school? 

Literally my first day in Idaho, Briggs Ranstrom was the first guy who introduced himself to me. I got to watch and play with, and against him, over the years.  He’s always pushed me in practice to be the best I could be. 

Is there anyone in your family who have helped you get to where you are today?

My Grams (Ann Tripple) came to every game and was always there to support me.  Before each game she would send me motivational texts and a mini game plan of what she wanted to see from me.  She may not have taught me any skills on the court, but she did teach me humility and what the important things are in life besides basketball.  I will always be thankful that she was there every night to cheer me on.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

To destress I play the piano.  My mom has taught me piano almost as long as I’ve played basketball.  Every so often I look up a new pop song to tinker with on the keys.  I am also a bike guru. Since freshman year, I’ve always ridden a bike to school, whether that be a mountain bike or a 196cc mini bike.  I thoroughly enjoy working on engines and building motor bikes. With all this time at home I’ve been working on another and will have even more to ride in the repertoire. 

What would you like to say to all the other Idaho athletes who had their season cut short?

Even though you might not be competing right now, there are still so many ways to improve your game.  Don’t stop trying to get better at something you love. Good luck and I wish you all the best on your athletic endeavors.


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