by Shelby Hodges
Last week, Tyrin Atwood verbally committed to his hometown college, Lamar University. Atwood is a 6’6 versatile guard who will be a senior next year at Beaumont Central High School, which is located a short drive away from Lamar campus. Shelby Hodges caught up with him to talk about his recruitment and what to expect from him in the future.
SH: Congratulations on the recent commit to Lamar, how was the recruiting process with them, just kind of walk me through that?
TA: They first noticed me my sophomore year at Central and since then they were just after me! I met with all the coaches and they showed me around campus. As soon as I visited campus I knew it was right for me. Everybody knocks them for what they’ve been the past few years, but you have to look for the future and see what’s going to be the best school for you.
SH: So what were your deciding factors with their program?
TA: Really it was the coaches, they are all so positive and the players are great too. I knew some of them from playing against them in high school and they are all very approachable.
SH: Was being able to stay close to home a big part of your choice?
TA: It was. My first thought was actually to get away from home but as soon as I saw Lamar for what it’s going to be in the future It was cool. And my family hasn’t got to see me play a lot on the AAU circuit so thats even better for them, because now they can watch me.
SH: Describe your game to me.
TA: I’m not always the leading scorer, that’s not my whole view of the game. I just want to be the person who makes everybody on the court with me better. I want to do anything and everything I can to win because I just really don’t like losing (laughs).
SH: Well that’s a good thing. With already knowing where you will be after graduation did that take some pressure off you for this upcoming Live Period?
TA: It definitely did.
SH: And what are the things you want to improve on before you get to Lamar?
TA: All of my weaknesses, my ball-handling and my shot. Everybody criticizes me for not shooting the ball as much so that’s what I’m going to work on. And getting better at defense and quickness as well, you can never stop working.
SH: This year at Central y’all had a great playoff run, but it ended with a tough loss what are the goals for your senior year?
TA: A lot of people don’t know what we have at Central, but they’ll know at the beginning of the season. And that loss it hurt us bad, but its funny because right after that game all the players who are going to be there next year, they were all right back in the gym. We are going to have a lot of chemistry next year.
SH: And with Houston Defenders you play with some really talented players like JJ Caldwell and Kameron McGusty, how has that organization helped you?
TA: JJ and Kam, they bring in the big scouts on their own and The Houston Defenders history, that bring colleges coaches too. So that makes it better for me and other players, it gives us a chance for those schools to watch us too.
SH: Moving on to some fun stuff, other than basketball what do you like to do?
TA: I’m not the type to go out every Saturday night. I’m usually home with my family, because once I get to college I’m not going to get to see them everyday like I do now. Of course I may have some fun every now and then but I also like my space sometimes.
SH: So who is your favorite music artist?
TA: Ummm, Drake.
SH: What about your favorite food?
TA: Pizza (laughs).
SH: Always a good idea, except for maybe before a game. Speaking of, do you have any pregame rituals?
TA: I just started this when I played with the Defenders and we went to Louisville, I have these two athlete prayers that I read before every game. And I have a certain stretch routine, really for my legs because every tall person knows you end up having bad knees. I also sometimes bring ice packs for my legs so they don’t cramp up during the game. Basically just trying not to hurt myself.
SH: Very smart. So what are you most looking forward to about playing at Lamar?
TA: I’m just looking forward to playing with everyone there, getting to know all the coaches, and really putting in a lot more hard work. I just want to see us get back to the NCAA tournament.
Atwood clearly has big goals for his future home at Lamar and I’m sure Cardinals coaches and fans are excited about that. The humble player will be joining the squad alongside another 2016, Cameron McGee, a point guard from Carrolton who committed at the end of June. Lamar also recently nabbed 2015’s Josh Nzeakor out of Mesquite and Boaz Williams of Houston, both signed earlier this summer.