Tyler Cain, former JM basketball starin his 10th year playing basketball in Europe
Rochester Magazine: Where are you right now?
Tyler Cain: I’m currently in Brescia, Italy, a city of around 200,000 people in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. I’m playing for Germani Basket Brescia.
RM: Walk me through your day.
TC: A typical day is two practices, 10 a.m.-noon and 5-7 p.m. Before, between, and after practices or games I’m spending time with the family, exploring our city and other places around us. Also a lot of normal everyday things like grocery stores, trips to the mall, and things like that.
RM: You’ve been playing in Europe for a decade. What has it taught you about yourself?
TC: The one thing I’ve learned about myself is the ability to adapt to different situations, countries, cultures, languages, peoples, foods, etc. The ability to be comfortable wherever I land.
RM: OK. How did you and your wife Kayla meet?
TC: Kayla and I met at the University of South Dakota. She was a member of the dance team, and often was right on the sideline when I played my games. Eventually, our paths crossed through mutual friends, and the rest is history!
RM: Tell me about your kids.
TC: We are proud parents of two boys. We have a three-year-old named Carter. He was born in Dijon, France during my 2015/16 basketball season. My wife and I just welcomed our second son, Jordan, this past June in Rochester.
RM: In your primes, who wins a 1-on-1 game in basketball, you or your dad, Richard?
TC: I’m going to say myself. From what I remember—and moreso what I’d been told by people around Rochester—is that he was a good player. But I have to bet on myself.
RM: What size are your specialized golf clubs [Cain is six-foot-eight]?
TC: I have 2 or 2-1/2 inches added to all my clubs, and it still doesn’t help my golf game.
RM: Best score in real golf?
TC: I would say high 80s or low 90s. I don’t get out much as I’d like now with two boys and a summer of training, usually only a few rounds a summer. But when I retire, hopefully I can get out a little more.
RM: Number of lifetime birdies?
TC: I’ve had three legit birdies in my life (so few I actually remember the number).
RM: Did you ever dream you would someday be named “Latvian Rebounder of the Year”?
TC [laughing]: I did not even know where Latvia was until my agent called [in 2010] with an offer from there. After a quick Google search, and a long flight, I was there playing my first season as a pro. It was never a dream to be the best rebounder that year, but it’s something I look back at with good memories.
RM: Seriously, though, you have made a great career out of what can be a tough situation, especially fitting in with so many different teams (six in 10 years). How have you managed that?
TC: It definitely can be difficult changing teams, and moving from city to city, or country to country. If you keep a positive mindset, and be open for the change and opportunities that can come, it always makes it easier. For me, I had my wife along with me, and now my two boys as well, so it is something we look at as a great experience for our family and we try to take advantage while we can!
RM: Most embarrassing hobby?
TC: As I’m getting older, possibly video games. I’m not sure if there is an expiration date on those. Or sitting down to do a coloring book with my son and finding myself continuing to color long after he’s lost interest.
RM: How often do you and Marcus Sherels keep in touch?
TC: Every day. Marcus, myself, and some friends from high school are in a group chat that is constantly making our phones go off.
RM: What’s tomorrow’s schedule?
TC: We are wrapping up our preseason so I will be at the arena around 10:15 a.m. for some stretching and work with the strength coach, followed by an 11 a.m. team walkthrough and shootaround. Then I’m home for the afternoon to hang with the family, eat lunch, get a little nap, and at 8:30 p.m. I’m back at the arena for our last preseason game before the regular season starts.
RM: Looking through past Post Bulletin stories about you, I found a number of Cain puns in headlines. Give me your quick take on these: “JM proves able even with Cain out.” “JM hopes to raise Cain.” “Cain able to hold off Mayo.”
TC: I think these are all good use of the last name. The Cain/Abel line is often used!
RM: Then this one: “Cain sugar sweet against Northfield.”
TC: I need to have that one framed and hung on the wall!
RM: “Citizen Cain rediscovers his ‘Rosebud’ against Century.”
TC: Really? I feel like I’d remember this one.
RM: “Her-a-Cain forecast: Kayla Armstrong to marry former JM star.”
TC: I wish this one were true. I’d laugh, though I’m guessing wifey would not.
RM: I made those last three up.
TC: Those were pretty good. I wondered why I couldn’t remember them.
RM: Pretty good? I spent a long time on those.
TC: Really good.