Devin- Hey Tyler, ready to get started?
Tyler- Yup, sounds good.
Devin- Awesome, What does your day look like? Starting from when you wake up.
Tyler- Well usually my day starts with a morning workout at the gym before school, just trying to get as many shots up as I can. Then I head back home to shower and attend my classes. After that if I don’t have practice, I’ll go to the gym again and get a lift in. After my lift i’ll do skill work and get more shots up. Finally, I go home and stretch, eat dinner, and do some more homework before I go to sleep and wake up to do it all over again. It’s a grind but I love it.
Devin- Very eventful days I see! That’s very impressive work ethic. You mentioned doing skill work after your classes, what type of skill work drills are you doing?
Tyler- Everything from working on my midrange shot to finishing at the rim. I try to work on my fundamentals as much as possible so I can add more stuff to my arsenal. Developing a clean jump shot and getting to the rim in 2-3 dribbles has been my focus this off-season. I want to play fast and clean.
Devin- That’s great to hear. Adding to your arsenal is very important. How are you working on getting to the rim in 2-3 dribbles specifically? What do you think will make you be able to play more clean and faster as a guard?
Tyler- Jabsteps and my ball handling have been important. Clean footwork and getting to my spots on the court so I can get right to my shot as well. I think in order to play more clean, I need to; first, keep working on my body and play as much as possible. Second, watch film to see what I can work on so i can apply it to my game. I’m a student of the game and I want to be able to play at the next level, so taking film seriously has been a key focus.
Devin- Getting up shots and going through the motions as much as possible is definitely very key. Film is extremely important. How much time do you use watching film? Whose game are you studying so you can play at the next level?
Tyler- I usually take about 30 minutes to an hour a day to watch myself and other players play. Some players I love to watch are, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, and Kyrie Irving. Just super skilled players who find a way to get to their spots on the floor. I try to model my game after shot creators and players who are creative with or without the ball.
Devin- Those are great players to model your game after. They are great off the ball, always being able to find their spots that work best for their own game and I’m sure you’re doing a great job at learning that for yourself. What is it like to play at Timberline HS?
Tyler- It’s been nothing but great. You know coming into Timberline, I knew I was going to a program that knows how to win. The culture and brotherhood they’ve built their is the best thing I’ve ever been apart of. Coach Thomas has been nothing but supportive of me and he expects nothing but the best from me. As a team we like to play fast, aggressive, and like to get it going on both ends of the floor. We love to take pride in defense and play with high energy. Our team is as close as you can get and we really consider each-other as family. We are young but I think we have some of the most talented players in the state. We’re hoping to keep the winning culture alive and make a run at state next year.
Devin- Timberline seems like an amazing place to be at, a true brotherhood definitely. Your team definitely looks like it’s ready to make a big push next season and I’m excited to watch you guys closely. How does Coach Thomas push you individually, as well as the team as a whole? Who do you think Timberline has the most challenges with, opponents wise?
Tyler- That’s a great question. I think the thing that makes Coach Thomas so great is that he believes in us 100%. He’s the type of guy to give you the shirt off of his back. He wants us to play at our best so he’s hard on us. It’s just something that I needed. I needed someone to call me out when I did something wrong and help me correct it right away. He wants us to get bigger in the off-season (body wise) so weight room has definitely been important. He’s going to push you as hard as he can but the reward that comes with that is all worth it. I think there are a lot of teams that we want to play but so far I think Olympia and Curtis are two teams that we love to get at. We feel like we can play against the best of the best and we’re here to compete.
Devin- Coach Thomas sounds like an amazing coach and person to be around. He seems like he wins over his players easily and creates great relationships, which is amazing. It’s great that he can push you all as well as a team. I’ve seen you guys play, and I would definitely agree. You guys can play with the best of the best in the state. Are you attending any camps or playing AAU, this summer? Or are you just working out individually/with your team to grow?
Tyler- Currently i’m playing with PNW Prep out of Seattle. It’s ran by Donald Watts and Cam Swanson. We’re supposed to be traveling to Seattle, Orlando, Alabama, and Vegas; as well as local tournaments in the state. I’ll be attending some college elite camps as well. Just hoping to get my name out there this summer and increase my recruitment. As for Timberline, we start morning workouts in a couple of weeks so i’m excited to get back with the team and start this off-season grind.
Devin- That’s great, I’ve heard of PNW Prep. I’d love to hear how all your tournaments go over the summer. You will definitely have a chance to get your name out there and I know you can do it. Keep grinding like you have been and all the hard work will pay off. Do you have any colleges that interest you currently?
Tyler- Yes definitely will keep you up to date! I appreciate it! Right now I’ve been in talks with the University of Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran University, Western Washington, and Willamette. All great schools who I would love to play for.
Devin- That’s awesome to hear! Those are great schools. I’m from northern WA, fairly close to WWU, it’s a beautiful campus! What stands out to you most from those schools? Are there any schools that interest you that you haven’t been in contact with?
Tyler- For sure. Yeah all these schools have great academics and great basketball programs. It would be great to stay at home and play in Tacoma or Seattle. The coaches from UPS and PLU have shown me nothing but support. I’ve been interested in Saint Martin’s, Seattle Pacific, Eastern Washington, and the University of Washington. All great schools who play basketball at an elite level. I would be grateful for any opportunity at any level though. I just want to hoop at the end of the day.
Devin- That’s a great answer. It’s good that you know you’d like to stay in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Those are all amazing schools as well. If you keep grinding then you’ll be able to play at the next level, in some way. One last question before I let you go, what type of player should a school be expecting, if they land you?
Tyler- They should expect a leader and someone who’s going to work harder than the next guy. All my life I've been overlooked and I feel like i’ve been underrated so i always play with a chip on my shoulder. I’m going to make my teammates better around me and create plays for them. I’m also going to hit the the open shot and clamp up on defense.
Devin- Thank you for your time, Tyler. You seem like an amazing leader and teammate, wherever you land will be lucky to have you attend there. Please keep me updated on your summer and how everything is going. Have a great day!
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