Student-Athlete Spotlight | Trey Funk
Graduate fulfills hoop dreams
Growing up, Trey Funk would come to Sherar Gymnasium on YVC’s Yakima Campus every day after elementary school. His father, Ray Funk, had been hired as head coach of the men’s basketball team in 2005 and the gymnasium quickly became Trey’s second home.
“I remember looking at the players as role models and I built bonds with so many of them that I still have to this day,” Trey said. “I always had it in the back of my mind, even when I was 7, 8, 9 years old, that I would play basketball and play at YVC.”
Then in 2008, when he was just 7, the Yaks won the Northwest Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship.
“I remember going down to the floor after the game and my dad was so excited,” Trey said. “I have a picture on the floor after the game with my dad and [Assistant] Coach [London] Wilson and my family. That was such a special memory.”
This year, the 2022 YVC graduate’s basketball dreams came full circle when he and his teammates lifted the championship trophy after an NWAC tournament run highlighted by two come-from-behind victories.
“I couldn’t ask for a better fairy tale ending than at the end of the game than hugging my dad.” — Trey Funk
Even before the start of this 2021-22 season, with Wilson now serving as head coach and his father as assistant coach, Trey and his teammates felt they had the talent it would take to win a championship. But even more important was the team’s camaraderie that came through during a difficult stretch in the middle of the season.
“I remember we had a sit down in the locker room during a practice with all the guys, and Coach Wilson said, ‘Don’t even bother lacing up your shoes today, we’re going to have a talk’,” Trey said. “And we had a two and a half hour talk with the whole team about how we could improve and accomplish what we all wanted.”
Winning a championship is the perfect conclusion to Trey’s collegiate basketball career, but he also treasures the deeper connections that were formed with teammates that go beyond the court.
“It’s been surreal. You have such a small percentage chance to win a championship but all of the work that we all put in really paid off,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better fairy tale ending than at the end of the game than hugging my dad.”
Beyond the court, Trey also has made the Dean’s List three quarters and the President’s List one quarter while earning his Associate in Arts – Direct Transfer Agreement. In the fall, he’ll start classes at Washington State University to work toward his goal of becoming an elementary school teacher.
“My favorite teacher was my third grade elementary teacher and he really inspired me to pursue that as a career,” Trey said.
He’s enjoyed having a number of opportunities to work with children during basketball camps and youth groups and said his patience and positivity will serve him well in the classroom. In particular, he’s determined to serve as a positive mentor for boys at an important time in their development.
“Some kids don’t come from the best home situation and if I can be role model to them that would mean the world to me,” Trey said.
While Trey isn’t sure where his career will take him, he’s grateful for the members of the YVC community who’ve cheered him on.
“I definitely could see myself coming back to teach in the Yakima Valley, the whole community has been great. I’m really glad for the opportunity to represent the community.”