MISSOULA, Mont. - When Wayne Tinkle took the head coaching position at Oregon State this past May, Missoula lost its best men's basketball coach. The ensuing question then is would Missoula also lose its best high school player. Will Tres Tinkle decide to finish his prep career as a senior in Corvallis, Oregon instead of at Missoula Hellgate high school? So far, the jury is still out.
"My dad is a lot more supportive on it, you know, he wants it to be my choice. My mom is more so on the side that she wants me to come with them because she thinks it would be a little hard on the family to be gone for a year," said Tres. "I want to make my decision in August or something like that whenever I go and live down there for a couple weeks and just see how I feel about it."
While it remains to be seen whether or not the Montana Gatorade Player of the Year will head to Oregon to finish high school, the next question on everyone's minds is will Tres start his college basketball career for the Beavers and take advantage of the unique opportunity to play for his dad.
"A lot of coaches have been asking, ‘Hey, can we still recruit you? What is your plan and what are you doing?'" said Tres about the weeks following his dad's new job as the head man for the Beavers. "And I was straight up with them and I said, you know, Oregon State definitely sounds a lot more interesting now playing for my dad."
"Well, I'm always going to err on the side of being a father. You know, I'm going to be there to answer questions," said Wayne Tinkle about his son's upcoming college decision. "He knows that we're (Oregon State) recruiting him every day and if there is another place for him that he feels is a good fit, so be it. I'm just delighted that he's a great kid, a great student and hopefully he's going to have some wonderful opportunities in front of him."
As we wait to find out what is in store for the future, it has already been a busy summer for this Missoula native. ESPN ranked Tres at #46 on their list of top high school recruits in the country, and Tinkle has been to several elite camps where he has met NBA stars such as Kevin Durant and Lebron James.
"You know it was cool definitely to get your name thrown out there, but I still don't think they have watched me enough to where I can definitely be a top 20 player or something like that," said Tres. "You can't be satisfied with something, you know, you always want to keep getting better and try to get to that number one spot. So I'm just going to keep working and show them that I can do better than that."