LeTourneau University basketball player, Dale Vanwright, of
Houston, Texas, was recently selected by the American Southwest Conference East Division head
coaches, sports information directors and media members as the 2009-10 preseason player of the
Vanwright, a senior guard, averaged 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds
per game during the 2008-2009 season. He was in the league in 3-point shooting percentage
(27-of-58). The 6-foot-6, 219-pounder was a member of the five-player ASC All-Conference Team in
2008-09 and was also voted to the East Division Newcomer of the Year.
Vanwright is a kinesiology major who plans to coach and teach in
inner-city schools. His attraction to LETU began with a personal relationship he had formed
with one of the coaches on the LETU campus, basketball coach Michael Lewis. Lewis met Vanwright’s
father during one of his first recruiting trips in Houston.
“Once his father told me his son was Dale Vanwright, I
thought there was little chance he would come here to play since he is ranked among the top 50
players in the nation,” Lewis said. “I thought a much larger school would get him.”
Initially, Vanwright attended University of Texas El Paso and
Blinn Junior College, but decided it wasn’t working for him. His father called Lewis and said
he was sending him to LETU. His first semester at LETU was in the fall of 2008.
“The hardest thing about being a student athlete is organizing
everything,” said Vanwright. “There’s not a whole lot of time to relax, but I make it work.”
Vanwright says he is happiest when he is on the basketball court
or at his church. He gave his life to Christ last summer at Bethel Temple of Longview, a local
church down the street from LETU. Many of his close friends and family say that they have seen
a lot of change and improvement since that time. Lewis says that he has seen Vanwright improve
spiritually and academically since his recent salvation.
“His attitude is more open. He’s talking and laughing with his
teammates and other students as well,” Lewis said. “His parents see a lot of change in him,
too. They tell me he is doing a lot more around the house, and they see his maturity has
Vanwright, along with his four older brothers grew up attending
Kashmere Gardens Church in Houston, Texas. Currently Vanwright lives on campus in one of the