Travis Hansen and Bryce Haslem sat in the bleachers at Mountain View High where once upon a time they’d busted their young bones for the Bruins. On this night, however, they watched their sons Mason Hansen and Chase Haslem make critical shots in a close win over their alma mater for Springville High.

Their past becomes their future.

Travis Hansen is a former BYU star, MWC defensive player of the year, and second-round pick in the NBA who made a small fortune playing in the EuroLeague. While Hansen did all that, Haslem attended medical school and currently works as a gastroenterologist with Revere Health in Provo. Hansen is CEO of Eddy and founded Tesani companies which include Tech 9, Lift Credit and Sunshine Heroes Foundation.

On prep nights, the former teammates plug into high school basketball where their sons excel. It’s a reunion of sorts. Growing up in Orem, they were best friends, buddies, and spent most of their time together on and off the court.

High school boys basketball: 6A/5A/4A/3A/2A/1A state tournament pairings
High school boys basketball: 6A/5A first round recap

In Mason and Chase, the fathers find a mutual two-pronged ritual of DNA and friendship relived. Earlier this week, it was Springville’s win over Uintah in the first round of the 5A state playoffs. Friday, it will be the second round at Cedar Valley in Eagle Mountain.

But on that night at Mountain View High, it was a bucket by Mason Hansen that tied the game, and a winning basket by Chase Haslem in a 30-plus point effort that was the difference in Springville’s win.

Chips off the blocks.

Springville had trailed most of the game. So, it was a true comeback that called for some heroics. “Chase kept us in the game. We got a couple of back-to-back stops and Hansen had a great little shot to tie the game. We came down and ran a ball spin for Chase and he made a 3 to win it,” said Springville coach Justin Snell. 

“Chase is just a fantastic guard,” said Snell.

“He’s a senior this year and spends tons of time working on his game. I was fortunate to coach his older brother Landon a few years ago. He was part of our last championship in 2020. Chase was a freshman that year. Chase was around the program and watched, but definitely didn’t play at that point. He’s been fantastic. He works really hard. He’s definitely the leader of the group. Anytime I’ve got a question everyone looks at Chase first. He’s pretty well respected with his teammates and his work ethic is probably why.”

At 5-10, Chase Haslem is a prototypical shooting guard. Snell says in tight games, Chase Haslem is the guy who will get a look as the offense runs through him to make some plays.  “He’s had some great fourth quarters this season that have really pushed us over the top and allowed us to get some wins.”

Mason Hansen is only a freshman for Snell. “He’s is just an awesome kid. He’s played so many AAU basketball games that he’s not uncomfortable and no situation is too big for him. He shoots the shots we need. He’s a talented kid that has worked really hard. In his first game this season he was a little passive and after a little conversation, he’s just played a great deal for us. He has tons of confidence in his skill. He works hard in practice every day and he’s in the gym working by himself every day.”

Travis Hansen has assisted Snell for the past three years and also coaches Utah’s AAU youth teams with former BYU players Marty Haws and his sons TJ and Tyler. Mason Hansen will play on the 14-and-under AAU team coached by Travis Hansen, who has been asked to coach the Nike AAU team for Arizona and will take Mason and another Utah player with him.

Former BYU basketball star Travis Hansen is a 'regular guy' whose life has made a big difference to others

Although just 14 and skinny, Mason Hansen is 6-foot-1. He has good range, has developed a floater and can get to the basket. He plays tough defense and physically has exceeded family expectations by staying healthy and playing with older, bigger players who are juniors and seniors.

The fathers?

Their playing days may be long gone, but Travis and Bryce are remembered for their tenacity and athleticism. They were competitive as caged, starved badgers back in the day at Mountain View where they went 22-3 as seniors playing for Rob Cuff, now executive director of the Utah High School Activities Association, the governing body for prep sports in the state.

Cuff has been out of coaching for 22 years. He’s old enough to witness children of former students play high school events these days. “There are several who will be participating in this year’s tournaments,” said Cuff.

“Both Bryce and Travis have had other children participate and it has been fun this year to see their sons have success as teammates at Springville. 

“Bryce was a tenacious defender, who led our team in steals and assists, a great shooter and a team leader as our point guard. 

“Travis was a tremendous and explosive offensive player. He was hard to guard because of his ability to penetrate to the basket coupled with his incredible shooting range. He was a team leader as our best all-around player. 

“Reflecting back to our team, I was a young coach — only my second year as a head coach — we had a senior-oriented team who cared for each other off the court, which contributed to the great success they had together on the court. Many great memories were created through complimenting each other on and off the court,” said Cuff.

Well, those on and off the court memories continue for these two longtime buddies. 

They’ve levered one another up, protected each others’ backs, fought in trenches and now they’re proud fathers enjoying their DNA repeat memories they created.

What a game.