One on One with Wesleyan's Renaissance Man, Tanner McGrew

One on One with Wesleyan's Renaissance Man, Tanner McGrew

Photography by Pete Galaneau, Jr.

Story by Nick Patella

Buckhannon, W.Va. -- There is always that one person on the team who seems to just… "do it all" and for Wesleyan's Men's Basketball team it's Tanner McGrew.   Sophomore Walk-On Center, music major, and Theta Chi brother, McGrew has several stories to tell so I spent an afternoon interviewing him in a little one on one session that gives a glimpse into the eyes of the native "Buccaneer."

Me: Being a native of Buckhannon, has Wesleyan always been on your radar and how did you go about finalizing your decision to attend WVWC?

Tanner:  Growing up I wanted to attend Texas.

Me: Well at least you stayed with the Orange.

TM: Haha, true, it's a funny story actually that has nothing to do with me playing basketball.  Dr. James Moore knew that I played trombone (one of the many instruments he plays) and there was an opening to play a part my junior year of high school.  I jumped at the opportunity and was like I'll play whenever, wherever, then throughout my senior year at Buckhannon-Upshur I played with the band and knew that I wanted to come to Wesleyan and pursue music as a profession.

Me: That's pretty cool, now in doing so many things and being involved in just about as much as a person can be in College, take me through a typical day.

TM: Well in this case, I'll tell you about my Tuesday's because they're, by far, the worst (chuckling).  Ok… Wake up at 9:30am (Me: Interjecting & Chuckling).  TM: Ok, that's not too bad.  That's the best part but then I'll get ready and grab some breakfast before my first class at 11am that goes until 1pm.  That's where it becomes difficult because my next class starts at 1pm and goes until 2:15pm.  Third class of the day begins at 2:30pm and goes until 3:45.  I try to then grab a little snack before practice from 4-6pm before my last class off the day from 6:30-9:30 but thank goodness that class is only once a week.  I'm carrying 18 hours so, yeah, it is a lot of work.

Me:  Wow, yes, that is definitely a full day's work.  Ok, where does the inspiration come from for all these things? i.e. basketball, music, etc.

TM:  By far my high school band director, Danny Williams, was the most influential person as far as music.  I wasn't even sure I was going to be in the band my freshman year then he basically convinced me and it took off from there.  My family plays a little here and there and my dad can sing a little bit so music has always been around me.  As far as playing basketball here, that was completely out of the blue.  Last year I would always come up to the gym and shoot.  One day in the preseason Coach Beilein approached me and said he needed a 15th man to fill out his roster.  At first, I didn't think he was serious but then one day he saw me down in the cafeteria and noticed I was sick.  He came over and told me to come up to his office and offered me Emergen-C (a cold remedy) and I thought, "Oh wow, he like actually might care about me and want me for real," (Me: Again, chuckling) so I went to the first workout and the guys just kept telling me how hard it was but somehow my adrenaline pushed me through and I made it without dying.

Me: So now that you've been here almost two full years, what is your favorite thing about being a Bobcat?

TM: Honestly, I love living at the Frat house.  It's never boring and there's all my brothers around so I always have someone to talk to.  I like the small campus feel, too.  I like knowing most of the students and them, generally, knowing me.

Me: Ok, last thing… Fill in the blanks.  "After college and I've _____ for 25 years, my perfect day of retirement is ______."

TM:  Hmm, ok… Well I know I want to be grabbing my clubs… And I want to teach so, "After college, and I've taught and hopefully coached for 25 years, my perfect day of retirement is getting up and golfing somewhere warm, very warm."

From an unsure future and a 15th man, McGrew has taken strides on the court and in the classroom to become the person he is today.  He's now averaging almost 14 minutes per game along with 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds on a hot Bobcat team that has won eight out of their last 10.  With his work ethic who knows where we'll see Tanner in the future or so many other of our student athletes we have here at Wesleyan for that matter.