Butler’s Wideman exemplifies sportsmanship as he makes an impact on Indianapolis community

Butler senior forward Tyler Wideman assists a JCC member ahead of a Silver Sneakers fitness class.

Tucked toward the back of a “Silver Sneakers” fitness class is Butler senior Tyler Wideman, or as he’s known at the Indianapolis JCC, “Intern Tyler.”

“It’s different scenery than what I’m used to, being in a normal gym all day,” the Bulldogs forward admitted.

“Members love to see him and he’s very gracious at saying hello, they wave and recognize who he is,” Katherine Matutes, Director of Health and Wellness at the Indianapolis JCC, said.

His 6’8″ stature makes him easy for members to recognize, but it’s his easy-going personality that has helped him adapt to the many roles he handles as an intern.

“It’s pretty easy for me to just adapt to whoever I’m working with, whether that be an older person or a little baby,” Wideman said with a wide smile.

Wideman's demeanor while teaching members about fitness, wellness and nutrition, markedly different than his demeanor on the court.

“I was shocked when I saw him on the court,” Matutes, who is Wideman’s internship supervisor, said. “He had his big arms out and was doing the blocking, I’d not seen that side of his personality here.”

“On the court, I just talk a little bit more and am more intense, but outside of that, I’m a pretty laid back guy,” the Schererville, IN product said.

Over the course of his internship, Wideman will eventually create his own “RockSteady Boxing” program which is focused on those battling Parkinson’s, in addition to creating his own “Tyler’s Tips” each month and engaging with members from preschoolers to senior citizens.

“They give me a lot of freedom to just do whatever I really want in that sense, if I want to help out with a Silver Sneakers class or a RockSteady Boxing class,” Wideman said.

And after seeing Wideman’s ability to engage easily with members, it came as no surprises to his supervisors he was recently awarded the Big East’s Sportsmanship Award, as voted on by the coaches.

“I was not surprised, he’s a great guy,” Matutes said. “I imagine the competition for that award is pretty incredible, but what I know of him, he’s a very stand up guy.”

“It’s an honor just to see that people recognize that stuff,” Wideman said. “I think sometimes you forget you’re even doing some of that stuff, you just do it.”

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