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STANHOPE — Southern Nash High senior Tyler Wilson has proven he can shoot the basketball — especially the 3-point shot.
But how does he perform at the defensive end?
Second-year Lenoir Community College head coach Chris Brown is willing to take a chance that Wilson possesses the foundation to become a solid defender. Getting the chance is all that Wilson, the son of Valerie Wilson of Spring Hope, asks.
Thus, early Thursday morning in the Southern Nash gym, Wilson signed a National Junior College Athletic Association National Letter of Intent to accept a basketball scholarship to Lenoir of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II ranks.
“I like his effort,” Brown explained, “and I believe he is going to do a good job at the defensive end. You are looking mostly at defense when you’re trying to build a program (7-21 in first season). You have to find kids for the defensive side. He can definitely shoot.”
“He needs to work on his defense,” Southern Nash head coach and athletic director Robbie Kennedy expressed. “But I am glad somebody took a chance on him. I have never had a problem with him and he’s always played hard. He did a good job as a leader. I am very happy he’s getting the opportunity.”
The low-keyWilson managed a slight smile and commented: “A good day for me has become an exciting day. I have got to get better on defense, but I still think I’m pretty good. I have always wanted a chance to play college basketball.”
Wilson, who says he’s 6-foot tall but his coach lists his height at 5-9, chose Lenoir over Louisburg College, another NJCAA Division II member.
“I liked my (Lenoir) teammates,” Wilson remarked. “They seemed like good people. I liked playing with them in open gym; there was a lot of positive energy.”
Wilson played three seasons on the Firebirds varsity, starting every game his junior and senior seasons. Along the way, he earned 3-A All-Big East Conference acclaim. As a senior, Wilson averaged 12.3 points per game and drained 59 of 148 (40-percent accuracy) 3-point shots. He played point and shooting guard for Southern Nash.
I think I did good at Southern Nash,” Wilson noted. “The 3-pointer is my favorite shot.”
Added Kennedy: “He can shoot; he can stroke it. When he gets hot, he gets hot. Being left-handed helps him. He also did a good rebounding for his size. If Tyler goes (to Lenoir) and does what he’s capable, he’ll play.”
Wilson is expected to play shooting guard or small forward for the Lancers of Brown, who is assisted by his father, Kenny Brown. Wilson, who plans to pursue a degree in sports medicine, is the seventh of seven recruits Chris Brown plans to bring in for his first recruiting class.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty good season,” Chris Brown said. “As far as playing time, the sky is the limit for Tyler. I want him to have fun and put the ball in the basket.”
Wilson plans to prepare by getting himself in top physical condition, working out, running more and increasing his strength.
“Lenoir is getting a hard worker, a person that loves to help people and a leader,” Wilson remarked. “I hope to come in, play hard, provide energy and get some wins.”