Trey Stewart with his custom sneakers and "Smile" t-shirts. (Trey Stewart/Instagram)

BYU basketball freshman Trey Stewart spreads positivity with shoes, smiles

The BYU student section roared as freshman Trey Stewart checked in with 1:24 left in the game to help the Cougars secure a convincing win over Portland on Jan. 22.

Playing time isn’t guaranteed as a BYU athlete, and Stewart knows that. He also knows how to stay positive and happy despite waiting for his time in the spotlight.

Stewart, an American Fork native, joined the BYU men’s basketball team this season after returning from his service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Leeds, England.

UVU was Stewart’s original destination but his commitment to head coach Mark Pope brought him to Provo when Pope took the job with the Cougars.

“He’s gonna be a big-time basketball player,” Pope said about Stewart. “He’s making huge contributions to the team right now and fans have already witnessed some of the most athletic feats coming in the last moments of games.”

Freshman guard Trey Stewart checks in for the final minutes of a 78-65 win over Portland. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

Stewart’s basketball journey has been full of defining moments like winning a 6A state title with his American Fork Cavemen and claiming a coveted spot on BYU’s roster, but none more important than working to overcome his mental health struggles.

Stewart began his battle with mental health when he was in high school. His success as an athlete wasn’t outright and he struggled as he sat some games on the bench as a young freshman.

Through it all, Stewart learned the art of resiliency and positivity all while pushing himself to greater heights, including becoming a business owner.

Stewart founded Default Happiness, a clothing and custom shoe company that aims to spread hope and happiness and end the stigma around mental health.

“Life can get hard but I just want to be a source of positivity for other people and to inspire the people,” Stewart said.

He shares his message with others by selling shirts and hoodies designed with smiley faces and the words “happiness” and “smile” in colorful block letters.

“The shirts say something simple like, ‘happiness’ or ‘smile,'” Steward said. “It’s a simple message but someone can see that, and it’s positive.”

While the apparel that he designs is a highlight of Default Happiness’ mission, it’s only half of the story. Stewart also creates custom shoes for teammates, coaches, fans and any others who want a personalized message with them through every step of life.

He has customized cleats for freshman quarterback Jacob Conover and sneakers for star women’s basketball guard Shaylee Gonzales, both emphasizing their personal mottos.

Stewart even appeared as a guest on a recent episode of BYU Basketball with Mark Pope and gifted longtime BYU radio broadcaster Greg Wrubell a pair of kicks. 

The shoes feature multiple nods to Wrubell’s life and career including a microphone paired with the words “Voice of the Cougars,” a red maple leaf that pays homage to his Canadian nationality and the symbol of autism in honor of his son.

“Trey is clearly as kind as he is talented,” Wrubell said after receiving the shoes. “It shows who he is and how he likes to spread joy and it’s no surprise that the logo for his company, Default Happiness, is a smile. He’s always smiling and he brings smiles into the lives of other people.”

Stewart knows that his ability to create happiness and inspire positivity will carry him through life and far beyond the game of basketball. 

His goal in the future is to use his love of shoes and gratitude for sports psychology to make an impact on youth who participate in sports. 

“It’s been cool to be at a college where they have a sports psychologist,” Stewart said. “At the high school level it’s just not as common, and I think if I would’ve had that at the high school level it would have helped me a lot.”

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