If it weren’t for the NCAA rule of redshirting one year after you transfer schools as an athlete, redshirt sophomore Jordan Tyson would have, give or take, been an asset for the Georgia State men’s basketball team this year.
Instead, Tyson spent this year viewing the game of Panthers’ basketball from a different angle, the sideline, where he has been able to develop more of a knowledge of the sport itself.
Some players cringe at the sight of seeing their fellow teammates not have the opportunity to play the game they love, but for Tyson, the experience has been the total opposite.
“My experience has been great,” Tyson said. “You know, just getting accustomed to the culture more than anything. What I’ve recognized is that this year isn’t really about basketball for me — it is, but it isn’t. When I say that I mean, I’m working on the mental aspect of the game. Like, being a spectator — like kinda sort of how a coach or scout would be. So, just learning from that angle has been a real challenge, but a good challenge.”
Despite the fact that Tyson is unable to suit up for games this year, he is still able to participate in practices. Being able to do so allows Tyson to compete as if he were going to play in an actual game. He mentioned that he addresses practices as if he were competing against an opposing team.
“Practices are like games for me,” Tyson said. “It gives me an opportunity to be competitive with myself more than anything.They’ve been a challenge, but they’ve been fun.”
But what has also been fun for Tyson this year is writing. In fact, over this redshirting period, he discovered a newly developed talent, although he admits that he has somewhat had a knack for being a skilled writer.
Tyson is the sole contributor for ‘A Redshirt’s Guide to College Basketball,’ a newly created blog that posts on georgiastatesports.com once a week.
The idea of writing for this blog came from a suggestion by his mentor and Associate Athletic Director at Georgia State Mike Holmes.
“Mike was actually the one,” Tyson said. “I actually came to him. We were in the Dominican Republic, and we were giving everyone’s different aspects of like, what they thought of the Dominican and what it was like. Then I gave him mine, well I asked him if I could write one and he said ‘sure.’ “And then I wrote it, and then he was like, ‘Man, this is really good. You’re a really good writer’. And I was like, ‘Yeah, I kind of knew that’. But I didn’t know it in my heart, and he kind of gave me the confidence to believe I can. Then, he gave me this opportunity to do A Redshirt’s Guide to College Basketball.”
Developing relationships is key in life, and perhaps the most significant relationship Tyson has developed thus far is the one he and Mike have formed.
Holmes explained that the two ultimately established a rapport with one another during the team’s trip to the Dominican Republic, where ‘A Redshirt’s Guide to College Basketball’ originated.
It was then when Mike sparked the idea of Tyson contributing to the blog himself.
Being the writer that he is, Tyson stepped up to the challenge, and according to Holmes, “It was perfect. No errors, well-thought out — basically perfect”.
Holmes also elaborated on the essence of Tyson’s writing abilities as a whole.
“Jordan is an exceptional student-athlete who has the ability to craft his words in a way that many are not able to,” Holmes said. “It has been fun to get to know him this year and allow him to use his creativity to write blogs for our website and even our game program. He has a gift when it comes to writing, and hopefully, it can help him to a successful start in the communication or journalism field once his basketball career is over.”
Although Tyson has a mentor in Holmes, he’s also been doing some mentoring of his own. Chris Clerkley, who is a freshman on the team, mentioned that Tyson has taken on the big brother role in a sense.
“From the day we all moved in together over the summer, and our first day at practice, Jordan basically took me under his wing as one of the older guys,” Clerkley said. “He obviously has more experience than I do and has been through a lot more things in college basketball. He was able to coach me up on my post moves and show me how to handle certain situations while always maintaining a positive attitude. He is also strong in his religious beliefs, and I really liked that about him. Jordan is a good guy and great to be around.”
Tyson is one of the youngest members of the Panthers basketball team, but he is also a wise man. He mentioned that his ultimate goal is to play basketball on the next level, whether it be in the NBA or overseas, but he also has a solid backup plan.
And yes, it involves writing, which is why he is currently majoring in journalism.
“I would probably get into writing radio — broadcasting, something like that,” Tyson said.
Well, it sounds as if Tyson has been thinking of a master plan.
But for now, prepare yourselves for Tyson to make his appearance on the court for the Panthers next season; He has big plans.
“My goal for next year is to win the newcomer of the year award,” Tyson said in response to what are some of his goals for next year as a basketball player. “Another one of my individual goals is to be the defensive player of the year in the conference.”
For the time being, Tyson continues to prepare himself this redshirt year so that he can be a dominant player for the Panthers next year.