Spotlight - Benson Wu

Benson Wu

LANGLEY, British Columbia - When Trinity Western men’s hockey coach Dwayne Lowdermilk was asked about Benson Wu for this story, he just laughed.

And when the reporter suggested Wu was about “a character and a half,” he fervently agreed.

“That’s exactly what he is,” Lowdermilk said with another chuckle. “He’s one of those character guys who, without an ‘A,’ leads like he’s the captain.”

To say the third-year defenceman is a bit of a social butterfly would be to say Spartans forward Trevor Edwards mustache only slightly resembles a caterpillar.

And if you’re ever in a room and wondering who this Wu character is, just look for that chatty one who will be yukking with anyone and everyone and more than likely captivating his audience with a few jokes and an abundance of charisma.

And if you’re still can’t find him, just look for the guy with the classy brown shoes, the stylish blue pants, the chic blue shirt – with the sleeves rolled up, of course – and, if you’re lucky a pair of red, possibly patterned, socks.

Yes, Wu is one of a kind.

While he may not be the Spartans go-to sniper and he’s certainly not laying crushing hits with great regularity, what he is, is that glue guy that brings the team together.

“For me I’m not the all-star guy,” the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Wu readily admitted. “I don’t score the nice goals or make the nice plays but I’m kind of the guy who brings the team together on and off the ice.

He’s the guy who’s the first one to a team function, the first one to a Spartans volleyball or basketball or soccer game and the first one to volunteer at an event.

His role fits him perfectly and he fits his role perfectly.

“I’m no the superstar by any means but I try to bring the team together and help mould the team,” Wu said.

And, as is easily evidenced with his fun-loving persona in practice, he also brings a ton of energy to a team that this past season struggled to consistently find a winning formula.

This year, the Spartans finished the BCIHL season with a record of 4-15-5 and missed the playoffs, yet when given the chance to energize his team, Wu was ever-ready.

“As a character guy if there’s ever a time when you look down the bench and call his name, he’s the first guy up and out and ready to go,” Lowdermilk said. “He’s cheering on the bench whether he’s scored a goal or not.”

Interestingly enough, as a kid, it was that excitability that actually got him into hockey in the first place.

When he was young, Wu struggled to pay attention in school and keep focused on tasks. He just couldn’t sit still.

So after going to the doctor, he was “prescribed” to play soccer to, as Wu recollects, “get some energy out of me.”

That didn’t work all to well for Wu.

“When I started playing soccer it didn’t do anything because I just sat their picking grass all day because the ball would be at the other end of the field,” Wu said.

So his parents, who are originally from Hong Kong and moved to Burnaby, B.C. in 1986, tried hockey and that seemed to work out quite well for Wu. Shortly after jumping on the ice with a stick and puck he was hooked.

After years of playing minor hockey in Burnaby, Wu hung up his competitive skates following his Grade 12 season. But after just one year away from the game while attending Columbia Bible College, Wu decided to come to Trinity Western and immediately joined the hockey team. And it didn’t take long for Wu to grow fond of his new team and new school and the team and school to grow fond of Wu..

“I love the community of Trinity Western,” Wu said. “Building up friendships is a huge thing for me and it’s such a great place to create relationships.”

Ultimately that’s what Wu’s role on the team has been for the past three years.

He may not put the puck in the net a whole lot – although his skills as a serviceable defenceman are nothing to be scoffed at – what he will do is put a smile on people’s faces.

And when a team has a season like the Spartans just did, you certainly need the Wu’s of the world to keep the ship from sinking.

Last Updated: 2012-05-01
Author: Mark Janzen