Tyler Dean (196-G) is a 196cm guard from Rome, Georgia. He began his basketball career at Southside Christian high school. He then played two years at State University of West Georgia and finished at the University of North Georgia (NCAA2) playing three seasons and played 69 games. His best season was in 2018-2019 where he averaged 6.3ppg, 4.2rpg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 26.5%, FT: 63.6%. He will take part at the Howard Hoops Combine in August 2021 in Germany. He spoke about his basketball career.
Tyler thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
At the moment, I’m in Rome, Georgia, and basketball life has been okay. The gyms in Rome aren’t fully open yet, so I’ve had to improvise to try to stay in basketball shape.
You haven’t found a professional team since finishing at the University of North Georgia (NCAA2). How was the whole process for you in the last year trying to find a club or did you postpone it because of the difficulties with COVID?
I postponed it because of covid. But, I’ve been trying to stay in the best shape that I can until everything started opening up again.
How big has your urge been to be a professional player since leaving school? Why do you believe hasn’t your dream of being a professional player panned out?
Being a professional player has always been one of my dreams since I was a kid, and that same love for the game has not changed. I believe it didn’t really pan out is because of covid. I didn’t want to risk my health with everything that was going on.
Let’s talk a little about COPVID-19. What were the biggest challenges for you during this time? Was it tougher keeping that normal work out routine?
One of the biggest challenges was getting some shots up and actually getting to play. It was definitely tough trying to keep a routine since everything was closed down. So, I did a lot of running and shooting in my driveway a lot.
With everything that you have experienced during COVID-19 off the court how do you feel did it make you stronger as a man?
I do. 2020 has been really tough mentally. But persevering through all of the obstacles that came my way made me very tough minded.
You will be taking part at the Howard Hoops Combine in Germany in August. How excited are you to show your abilities in front of GM’s and coaches?
I’m very excited it has been a minute since I’ve played organized basketball.
How excited are you to be playing in Germany? What do you know about the country and it’s basketball? Have you had friends or ex opponents or teammates play there?
I’m very excited! This is my first time ever leaving the U.S. in my whole life. One of my old teammates, Shaquan Cantrell, actually played out there for a year or two. And one thing he told me was that is to always play with a chip on my shoulder.
How did you get in contact with CEO and founder Ronald Howard (181-PG-84, college: Mayville St.)? Did he find you or did you find him?
One of friends, Korley Grier, told me about it and I immediately hit Ron up seeing if there were any spots available.
Ronald Howard is a legend. He is the voice for the unknown players wanting to get a job overseas. What kind of relationship do you have with him and what do you appreciate most about his character.
I don’t really know much about him. But I’ve seen what he has done to help players like me get an opportunity to keep doing what we love, and I appreciate him for that
What is your biggest goal at the Howard Hoops Combine besides getting a job overseas?
My biggest goal is to make sure I get better every day while I’m there, and to make connections with the people there.
How big is the chip on your shoulder? There are guys at this combine that have JUCO and NAIA experience, but you have played levels higher at the NCAA 2. Your drive must still be big because you didn’t play at the NCAA level.
I’ve always had to play with a chip on my shoulder. I’ve always had to fight for my minutes in college so I’m taking that mentally with me to Germany.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a guard that can take it to the hole, are a good spot up shooter and solid defender. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill?
I couldn’t really tell you. I’ve heard different players, but I don’t know if I can pinpoint who I actually play like.
What other strengths do you have on the offensive end? What would you classify as your absolute biggest strength on the court?
I think one of my strengths offensively is reading the defense. I used to play point guard all the way up to my senior year in high school. And I think my biggest strength is being versatile. In college, I played and guarded every position.
On what area’s of your game are you working on most so you can continue to grow as a player?
One area that I’m working on is my creativity to create shots for me and others.
Despite that you were able to reach the NCAA 2 and played at State University of West Georgia (NCAA2) for two years. But also there you were unable to get minutes. How aggravating was it once again not being able to get minutes. How did this effect you mentally and how did you deal with it?
It was pretty aggravating because I never had to worry about that in high school. But I had to remember that I was only a freshmen at the time, and whenever my opportunity came to make the best of it.
You then finished at the University of North Georgia (NCAA2) playing 69 NCAA 2 games and was integrated better and one season averaged 6.3ppg, 4.2rpg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 26.5%, FT: 63.6%. How do you feel did your game mature here?
I think my game matured pretty well there. Being there helped my become a way better rebounder and being tough.
How did coaches Chris Faulkner and Chris Evans groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
They taught me to always go hard at all times, and to never quit.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Shawn Hopkins?
I actually don’t think me and him ever played one on one. But if we did I’m betting on myself.
Who was the best player that you ever battled that went to the NBA?
The best player I’ve played against had to have been Rui Hachimura
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
My high school teammates: Dwight Hall and VJ Saxton.
My UNG teammates: Kj Jenkins he plays at New Mexico now. Shaqaun Cantrell.
My West Ga teammate: Steph Branch
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Allen Iverson
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I’m always going with MJ. He’s the GOAT.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Space Jam 2
Thanks Tyler for the chat.