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Friends for Life

January 8, 2020
two action pictures of basketball players with the basketball
Haize Fornstrom (left) and Hunter Thompson (right)

You’ll find pairs of childhood teammates on UW’s basketball and football teams.

By Micaela Myers

When Haize Fornstrom and Hunter Thompson began playing basketball together at ages 6 and 7 in Pine Bluffs, Wyo., little did they know that a decade later they’d be University of Wyoming Cowboys, playing Division 1 basketball together.

“I’ve known him forever,” says Thompson, who is majoring in kinesiology and health promotion. “Haize and I have always been really close on and off the court. It’s been really fun to go through this experience of playing since grade school continuing through junior high, high school and now in college. We have the same goals. He and I think alike. We like to joke around and have fun while we’re playing.”

Thompson redshirted his freshman year. Last season, he played in 27 games with 22 starts.

Fornstrom, a business management major a year behind Thompson, says his friend always wanted to play college ball. “He told me if I wanted to, to push myself,” Fornstrom says. “We used to push each other all the time through everything we did.”

Joining Cowboys basketball halfway through last season as a walk-on, Fornstrom also played football for the Pokes that first year. Thompson helped him ease into life as a Cowboy. “He helped me figure out what was going on and how to get involved more,” Fornstrom says. “I came in and was nervous. He really helped me be myself.”

Thompson believes the team is on the verge of doing something special. Both student-athletes love the fan support of playing for Wyoming’s one and only.

“It’s really cool to take a moment and look at how many people from Wyoming you know that are in the stands,” Fornstrom says. “You know they are there to support you.”

After college, Fornstrom plans to own his own business. Thompson hopes to play professional basketball in the U.S. or overseas. But one thing they both agree on—they are friends for life. “I expect that Haize and I will be friends until the day we die,” Thompson says. “We don’t go a day without talking to each other. Just like any good friend, he’s always there to listen to me, and I’m always there to listen to him.” 

two men standing back to back with arms crossed
Student-athletes Logan Wilson and Josh Harshman

On the Field and Off

Senior student-athletes Logan Wilson and Josh Harshman met in third grade, and both played football for Natrona County High School in Casper, where Harshman’s dad is the coach.

“We went to three state championships and won two of them, so I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in high school,” Wilson says.

UW brought them in for visits, recruited them and offered them scholarships. “There was no place else we wanted to go,” Harshman says. “We both committed at the same time.”

Having a good friend nearby helped in the transition to college. Looking back, Wilson relishes the big wins against ranked teams. He led Wyoming in tackles in 2017 and 2018 and entered his senior season as one of the top returning defensive players in the nation. Named a first-team All-Mountain West Conference linebacker this year, Wilson headed to the Arizona Bowl with 414 career tackles.

Harshman, a tight end, suffered an injury last year but entered this season at the top of the depth chart.

“I think the biggest highlight was being elected captains together this season,” Harshman says. “We were elected captains together our senior year in high school, and so senior year of college to be elected captains together—that’s a pretty special moment. That’s something both of us will remember for a long time.”

Wilson says, “As a Wyoming kid, it’s very special to represent that brown and gold. It’s something you dream about growing up. Then when you’re living in the moment, it’s incredible.”

A kinesiology major, Wilson hopes to play football professionally after college. Harshman, a physiology and kinesiology major, plans to continue to graduate school to become an optometrist or chiropractor. Wherever they go, they plan to stay in touch. “Logan will be in my wedding if not my best man,” Harshman says. “I feel like wherever we go, we’ll stay in touch—a lifelong friend, for sure.”

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