Special to the E-T

Tarleton Sports Information

Tarleton State head coach Lonn Reisman has announced the signing of Tyler Rushing to the Texan men’s basketball team for the 2008-09 season.

Rushing, a 6-4, 185 guard from Iowa Park, will transfer to Tarleton from Western Texas College in Snyder. The junior will not only bring a strong presence to the floor, but his academic accolades will also enhance the Texan squad.

“I’m excited about having Tyler join our basketball program,” Reisman said. “He is an outstanding student-athlete who graduated with his associate’s degree from Western Texas. I am very impressed with his commitment to be an outstanding student.”

Rushing was a member of the 2007-08 WTC President’s List and was named the year’s Outstanding Academic Male Student as a sophomore. As a freshman in 2006-07, Rushing was selected to the Phi T Kappa Honor Society and was named the Outstanding Men’s Basketball Athlete.

The newest Texan started both years at WTC and played in every game, averaging eight points per game and averaged .440 from the three-point line as a freshman. Last season, he averaged .380 from the arc and seven points per outing.

“Tyler brings to our team a player with a high IQ for the game of basketball,” Reisman said. “He is a great student of the game, and I really believe that is pivotal when playing games late in the year during the NCAA tournament. Tyler is a tremendous shooter and a solid ball handler.”

In high school, Rushing was named the District 5-3A Most Valuable Player as a senior after being named to the all-district team. He averaged 18.4 points and 3.2 assists per game at Iowa Park High School, helping the team to the district and area championships. He was a member of the Prosper All-Tournament Team, the all-region team, the Red River 22 Basketball Team and was selected as an Academic All-State honoree.

Rushing attended Rider High School in Wichita Falls as a sophomore and junior. As a sophomore, he was a First Team All-District 5-4A selection after averaging 13.5 points per game. The following season, Rushing was named the district’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. He was nominated to the Red River 22 Basketball Team and was selected to the Mineral Wells All-Tournament Team.

After being recruited by several schools including Cleveland State, Texas Pan-American, California-Riverside, Sacramento State, Adams State and Eastern New Mexico.

“I chose Tarleton State because I felt very comfortable on campus and around the guys,” Rushing said. “It basically felt like I was at my second ‘home’. Also, the continuing tradition of winning seasons, the coaching staff, the fan support and the goal to win the championship are a few reasons that turned me from the other schools.”

Rushing believes he can help the team win the Lone Star Conference and the national titles.

“I want to help the team in any possible form that I can to win the conference and national championship,” Rushing said. “Whatever needs to be done, I’ll do it. The best strength I bring to the team is the three-ball, and the knowledge of the game in general. I believe knowing how to play the game is the most important aspect of basketball. Also, being an overall team player, such as hitting the open man, boxing out, playing defense, knowing when I’m open to shoot and knocking down the shot is another advantage to my game.”

Not only did Rushing letter three years in varsity basketball in high school, he also lettered four years in track and field. He won the district high jump championship twice at Rider as a sophomore and junior and once as a senior at Iowa Park. His junior season, he placed second at regionals and fifth at state while finishing third at regionals as a senior.

“Tyler is also going to high jump for our track program here at Tarleton and head coach Pat Ponder,” Reisman said. “The fact that he high jumps 6-8 tells us he is an outstanding athlete, and we look forward to him being a big contributor to our basketball program.”