Freshman basketball standout Tyson drawing national attention
By Jake Davis
Adam Tyson Jr. lives in the gym.
The Oxford freshman made waves on the national AAU circuit this summer with his explosive athleticism and remarkable fluidity with the basketball. Now, he is ready to take the country by storm ashis high school career begins in earnest.
Tyson, who stands at 6-foot-7 and still has room to grow, has all the physical tools to be an elite Division I basketball player, but it is his work ethic and drive to improve every day that leaves coaches excited and scouts drooling.
“He’s always in the gym,” said Oxford head coach Drew Tyler. “It can be at the park commission, it can be Oxford High School, or the Turner Center or South (Campus Recreation Center) and he’s either playing or he’s doing drill work.”
Tyson says that penchant for hard work comes from his father, who he also credits with getting him started on his basketball journey.
“This guy right here has taught me a lot,” Tyson said while smiling and gesturing to his father. “He taught me to keep my head on straight, just focus — be humble for sure, just stay positive is all.”
The elder Tyson said he has worked hard to instill a strong work ethic in his son while still trying to ensure that he enjoys the game and has fun playing.
“I want to keep the game fun for him,” Tyson Sr. said. “Soon enough it’s gonna become a job, but I want to keep it fun, I want to keep a balance between the hard work, the training and having fun with the game. If it comes to the point where you have to go out and feel like it’s work, it becomes a job and it takes the fun out of it.”
The younger Tyson is certainly having fun with the game after announcing his presence on the AAU circuit this summer and earning a spot at the CP3 Rising Stars National Camp.
The invitation-only event, which is hosted by NBA superstar and future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul, brings the best high school underclassmen from across the globe together for a three-day camp that exposes them to professional training and exercise regimens and allows them to meet other top prospects from around the world.
“I think everybody was wanting to compete at a high level and he came out a little shaky at first, but then he measured up the competition and came through,” the elder Tyson said. “He played hard; when he wasn’t going on offense he got it going on defense and he held some of the top guards in the country.”
That experience has already proven itself invaluable as Tyson prepares for his freshman year at Oxford after spending his eighth-grade season with Lafayette.
The Tysons moved into the Oxford School District this summer so that Adam Jr. could learn from Tyler, praising the Oxford head coach’s experience and intimate knowledge of the game.
“He’s a very funny guy and a good coach. He’s taught me a lot of little things that just helped me get better and he’s taught me a lot of life lessons too,” the younger Tyson said. “He gives speeches and stuff and you just learn from it. [He helps you] with stuff you need to work on.”
Tyson also enjoys the connective nature of Oxford’s basketball program and said he was immediately drawn to the family environment.
“We do a lot of stuff together as a team, it’s a good program,” he said. “We talk [on the court] and we talk off the court and have fun.”
The Chargers are returning a talented group of upperclassmen headlined by juniors D.J. Davis and Miles Luber as well as senior captains Jake Marsh and Jackson Myatt.
Davis, who earned First Team All Region honors as a sophomore last season, already has developed strong chemistry with Tyson that is continuing to solidify as the two spend more time together on the court.
Tyler says the connection between his two stars is unique in today’s age, where players sometimes tear each other down in competition for the spotlight rather than building each other up.
“I think they feed off each other,” Tyler said. “When one of them has success, the other one’s happy for them and I think that’s almost extinct these days… D.J. and Adam are two of the better players in this area, no doubt about it, but I like how well they play off each other.”
The Chargers are hoping that unique connection will translate to sustained success on the court as they try to get back to Jackson for the first time since making the jump to 6A in 2018.