Whether it is the pairings of the Kyles, Kaunistos and Olvers on the ice, the Alvarez twins in the USOEC boxing program or the Glenn’s of the club lacrosse team, Northern has had a long-standing tradition of brotherly bonds in its various athletic programs. Another set of brothers have been added to that group.
Adam and Spencer Huss are both sporting the green and gold this season, but with different teams. Adam plays on the links, as he is a junior on the golf team that competes in both the Fall and Spring seasons. Spencer is a redshirt freshman for the basketball team after making the squad by participating in tryouts earlier this year.
“It’s cool because the sports are completely different,” Adam said. “I hear things from (Spencer) and how things are different for him. With golf, it’s more timing and rhythm unlike basketball.”
The brothers not only share a unique bond as student athletes, but also carry on the Northern tradition in their own family. Both of Huss’s parents graduated from NMU in the late 1970s and their older brother, Tyler, went to NMU for three years and played in the marching band before transferring to the University of Michigan. Their aunt is an instructor in the College of Business, and many cousins have graduated or are current students.
“It’s great that they’re carrying on the Northern legacy,” said Denise Huss, mother of Adam and Spencer. “I’m proud of both of them as they carry on that history.”
An athletic legacy is also passed on as well, as their grandfather Stanley Whitman was a football and basketball player at NMU before he graduated in 1950. Whitman was posthumously awarded a spot in the NMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
“(Whitman) passed away when I was pretty young, but through stories from my grandma, I heard what kind of guy he is,” Adam said. “It’s great to see how some of his qualities come through us, and a couple generations later we have a descendent of him playing.”
As high schoolers, the brothers played basketball at Marquette Senior High School. However, Adam and Spencer never played on the same team, as the younger Huss only made it to the junior varsity team during the elder’s senior year. The two still play basketball against each other and Spencer credits his brother for teaching him a lot, but says the sibling rivalry is still strong.
“We always go at it,” Spencer said. “He always picks on me for how I haven’t played yet or how he was an NMU athlete before I made the team.”
Both brothers still live together in the same house they grew up in on Norway Street, just a stone’s throw from Spalding Hall. The close ties to the university have played an important part in their childhoods and the importance of being a Wildcat.
“When I was a little kid, I used to go to every event, as my grandma used to take me to volleyball games, and I go to basketball and hockey games,” Adam said. “I used to watch all these guys compete for Northern, and now I get to do it myself, and it’s a cool feeling to be a part of it.”