Cowboy Basketball

StoryCorps

Wyoming basketball legend Kenny Sailors died last week at the age of 95. He was widely credited with creating and developing the modern day jump shot and was the first to use it as a pro basketball player. But what should not be missed is that he was one of the great players of his time. Sailors led the Wyoming Cowboys to the national title in 1943, he was a national player of the year, a three time All-American, and one of the pioneers of the NBA. But most of his life was outside of basketball.

Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt is furious that the Mountain West Conference did not consult with coaches or athletes before deciding this month to only allow eight of eleven conference teams to play in the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament.

The decision was made in a meeting of conference President’s and Athletic Directors and Shyatt says it was done secretly.

"No notice, no inclusion, no communication, not one word uttered to an assistant commissioner in charge of basketball, there seems to be a degree of behind the scenes plotting."

University of Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt has signed a contract extension through the 2019-2020 season. 

Shyatt will make a base salary of $210-thousand dollars this season, increasing to $230-thousand in the last year of the contract. Shyatt will also earn extra money if players meet academic goals and he meets performance incentives. The contract also includes extra money for his coaching staff. 

Shyatt says some friends wondered if he would leave Wyoming after appearing in the NCAA tourney last season.

Associated Press

The Wyoming Cowboys will face Northern Iowa in the NCAA men's basketball tournament on Friday in Seattle. The Pokes received an automatic berth after winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament over the weekend. It’s Wyoming’s first appearance in the tournament since 2002.

It’s been a tough few years for the Cowboys who’ve had to overcome a series of incidents including injuries and illness. Head Coach Larry Shyatt said those incidents have made the team mentally tough.

Diana Denison

Wyoming Public Radio welcomed All-Mountain West First Team University of Wyoming Cowboy basketball player Larry Nance Jr. as guest DJ on Morning Music.

Grady Kirkpatrick talked with Larry about Final Four weekend basketball and played some of his favorites in good old R&B: