ALBANY – Wish kid Tyhlar was having a really good day. Then it turned downright spectacular.
“It was the best moment of my life,” the 15-year-old said.
Tyhlar, a Mechanicville junior varsity basketball player and Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York wish kid, was invited by the University at Albany and men’s basketball team head coach Will Brown to spend a game day with the team at SEFCU Arena. Tyhlar sat with the Great Danes for their film study and morning shootaround, and at their team meal, and behind the bench for their game against Hartford.
“They treated me as one of their own,” Tyhlar said.
At halftime, Tyhlar represented wish kids as the chapter formally thanked the UAlbany athletic program for its generosity helping Make-A-Wish. But the composed teen broke down when Make-A-Wish Northeast New York Board Chair Sarah A. McKinney stunned him with unexpected news: He was heading to the NBA All-Star Game the next month in Charlotte, N.C.
“It was a moment that I can never forget,” Tyhlar told media afterward of his wish being granted. “There are no words that can explain it.”
After Tyhlar did halftime media interviews like a seasoned veteran, UAlbany associate athletic director Charlie Voelker summoned the teen.
“Tyhlar, we’re up right now,” Voelker said, “and we need you back on the bench.”
UAlbany won the game.