Guarding Tyson Wheeler at the top of the key caused defender NIGHTMARES, not only in CT, but int he NCAA also! Remembering one of our greatest PG’s: Tyson Wheeler – New London,CT

by CTalentTv on May 9, 2011

Most young people know Tyson Wheeler from the Hartford Pro Am scoring at will and driving by his defenders effortlessly.  It has even been said that he scored 60 points in a game.  Sheeeesh!! I remember him from scoring and crossing over dudes while playing for Rhode Island.  Also that deep March Madness Tourney run with teammate Cuttino Mobley.  CTalentTv Sports caught up with Tyson to talk about his career and the state of basketball in CT.  

During your HS days, what school had the best team in the state on a consistent basis? When I was in High School 1990-94, the best teams in the state was Hartford Public, Weaver, Hillhouse, Some of the Waterbury schools, Trinity Catholic, New London (my high school), Bassick of Bridgeport, Warren Harding, Danbury, and St. Joseph of Trumbull.

Who was the toughest player that you’ve had to guard during H.S.? Rob Thompson of Harding I think and Kendrick Moore Hartford Public.

What was your most memorable game?  My freshman year when I was starting varsity at New London High and scored my first to points vs. Bassick.  I will never forget that floater!  The start of my career, and it was over a 6’9 player!!!

If you had to assemble a CT HS all-star team, who would be on that team?  Me, Marcus Camby, Anthony ‘Snake’ Harris (Danbury), Rashmel Jones (Trinity Catholic) Vin Baker (Old Saybrook), Jerome Malloy (Kennedy of Waterbury), Scott Burrell (Hamden) Mike Williams (Weaver), Jay Jay Moore (Bassick) Terrell Myers, and (Hillhouse) Bobby Moore (Hillhouse).  I don’t think we would get beat by anyone or any other all star team from the state.  Those are some of the old school players.

Who did you model your game after growing up? Kenny Anderson, Travis Best, and Damon Stoudamire…

What player from CT do you feel could have had a chance to play in the NBA but didn’t make it? I don’t really know. There were a lot of great players in CT that went D1 but didn’t do as good in College to even get a look at the NBA. So it’s hard to say.

In college what was the toughest gym/arena to play in? I would have to say St. Bonaventure. Those fans were pretty crazy! Or Virginia Tech.

What is the main difference between playing college basketball and playing professionally? In college there are some players you don’t have to worry about on the scouting report.  In the pros you have to worry about players 1-8 on any given night. You have to be ready each night for a tough match-up in the pros…Where as in College you can take nights off.  Also the players are much faster, bigger, stronger and smarter in the pros!

What things do you feel that you’ve could have done differently to have a long NBA career? If I was a better defender I would have had a longer career. In saying that I feel if I went to the right team that would have gave me a chance to play I could have also had a longer NBA career. Many times there are good players that go to a team where there are to many contracts, or the coach doesn’t give them a chance to play and that has an affect on making it or not. I see it all the time.

How tough is the adjustment of playing and living overseas?
It is a huge adjustment living overseas. 1st you have to get adjusted to the way Europeans live.  2ndly you have to get use to the food. You may go into a grocery store and not know what you’re buying because everything is in that countries language.  An example of this is when my wife went to the store in Italy to buy a steak for dinner, and she came home cooked it and we enjoyed what we thought was steak.  Come to find out from one of our Italian friends that is was not steak but it was HORSE MEAT!!! 3rdly you have to learn how to speak slower English and broken English so they can understand what you are trying to say.  But in most cities that you live in the people may not speak any English.  So you learn a few words to get by.  The biggest adjustment is getting use to the European style of play.  It’s a much different style that you are use to playing and can be difficult at times to adjust to.  It’s very had to explain.  It’s funny sometimes to hear players who play in college or the pro-am leagues that do work in both, but have no shot of making it to the NBA, say they’ll “just go play overseas.” They think overseas is just something that anyone can do. They have to understand the difference in the way we play and how they play over there.  Totally different and very difficult to make it overseas.
Who do you feel is the best young CT basketball talent today? I haven’t been able to really watch the CT High School basketball, due to my position as Director of Basketball Operations here at Fairfield Univ.  So I can’t really comment on that.  I know a couple of kids from my high school Kris Dunn and Torin Childs-Harris though.  They’re pretty good.

What advice would you give to someone who dreams of playing D1 basketball and ultimately playing in the NBA?  My best advice would be work hard and when you think you are working hard work even harder.  Never stop dreaming because dreams come true.  Mine has for me!  But if you want to be great you have to work at it everyday. There are no days off, when your taking the day off someone else is practicing 10 times harder than you!  And always remember that school work comes first because you can not play basketball for the rest of your life. If you put it into perspective, you only really play D1 and professional at the most for 13-14yrs if you’re lucky.  Then you have about 40 yrs left of your life without playing. Your education will be with you till you’re old and gray! Basketball won’t. So put your education first. And treat people with respect and always put your family first.

Thanks for having me! I greatly appreciate it!

5 Responses to “Guarding Tyson Wheeler at the top of the key caused defender NIGHTMARES, not only in CT, but int he NCAA also! Remembering one of our greatest PG’s: Tyson Wheeler – New London,CT”

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