« Men’s Basketball 2015-16

Kyle Wiltjer

School

Gonzaga

Position
Forward
Major
Masters of Business Administration

Classroom

Kyle Wiltjer finished his undergraduate degree in 3.5 years, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. He compiled an undergraduate GPA of 3.19 and has now begun his MBA, which he is on track to finish in 1.5 years. He currently carries a 3.75 GPA in his graduate studies. For his efforts, Wiltjer earned WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll Bronze honors as an undergraduate in 2013-14 and Gold honors as a graduate student in 2014-15. Wiltjer’s professors and academic advisor speak highly of his drive to earn his degree and continue on to earn his master’s before he finishes his basketball career. Earning his master’s degree was one of the factors in returning to school for his senior season. During his undergraduate work, Wiltjer also completed an internship at the Jordan brand. Wiltjer is also involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Character

Wiltjer’s experiences have led to unquestionable character. Often serving as the most requested men’s basketball player by the media, Wiltjer is often in front of a camera or recorder talking about the team, answering questions about teammates and coaches, and always deferring to the success of the team when asked about himself. Those experiences include starting his career at Kentucky and winning a national championship in the brightest of spotlights to transferring to Gonzaga to become a more well-rounded player, person and student.

Community

Wiltjer has been heavily involved in the community since his arrival at Gonzaga two years ago. In his first season with GU, Wiltjer took part in team visits to the Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, volunteered at the Spokane AAU Tournament and led the team on a visit to the Union Gospel Mission, a local shelter for the homeless. This past season in 2014-15, Wiltjer made multiple return trips to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, joined a Habitat for Humanity build, visited youth at the Boys and Girls Club and read to students at Longfellow Elementary School. Wiltjer also attend the Logan Block Party, a community gathering in a revived neighborhood next to Gonzaga’s campus. Wiltjer is also involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which serves as the leadership for student-athletes. The SAAC team helps plan community service events for other student-athletes, sets up student-athlete events and a program that encourages athletes to support athletes at their events across sports.

Competition

Wiltjer’s accolades include a laundry list of awards during his one season in a Gonzaga uniform. After earning a national championship at Kentucky, Wiltjer’s time at Gonzaga has take his game to another level. Wiltjer followed up his redshirt year with a breakout performance for the 35-3 Zags, who finished with an Elite Eight appearance. He led the team with 16.8 points per game and shot a team-best .466 from behind the arc while making 68 three-pointers.

Wiltjer led the team in scoring 18 times and had a team-best 30 games with double-digit points, including 11 with more than 20. His highest-scoring game of the season came at Pacific on Feb. 19 when he poured in 45 points, the third-highest single-game total ever at Gonzaga.

Last season, Wiltjer became the seventh Zag to earn the WCC Newcomer of the Year Award and was named a USBWA and NABC second-team All-American, AP third-team All-American, first-team All-WCC selection and WCC Tournament Most Outstanding Player. He helped guide the Zags to a school-record 35 wins, second-ever berth in the Elite Eight and school-record 22-game win streak during the season. The Zags also captured their third straight WCC regular season and tournament titles while advancing to a 17th-consecutive NCAA Tournament, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation.

Wiltjer is currently ranked No. 22 all-time in scoring at Gonzaga (1,321 points) in just less than two full seasons. This season he has been honored with All-WCC First Team, WCC All-Academic First Team, USBWA All-District First Team, Karl Malone Award Finalist, Two-time WCC Player of the Week and Naismith Award Top 50.