Athlete Spotlight: Tyler Gustafson

Noah Simon, IV Leader Sports Editor and Columnist

The game of basketball brings many people together, from every part of the world, and they all share the same passion and love for the sport.

When I came to America as a foreign exchange student, I was blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of a great basketball team.

One player immediately stood out from the others; it was a tall, lengthy player named Tyler Gustafson. I have become close friends with Gustafson since our first encounters, but his skill set on the basketball court will always be impressive no matter how long I have known him.

Gustafson attended Bureau Valley High School and was a good athlete in three sports, basketball, baseball and football. Gustafson was a three-year starting quarterback for his school as well as a three-year starter on the basketball court, and he also played baseball for all four years.

But when he was asked which sport, he prefers he quickly responded, “Basketball, 1000%. It has always been my favorite sport and the sport that I am the best at.”

Gustafson played a crucial role during his senior year on the basketball court, helping his team with a regional, and a sectional title.

When asked about his favorite memory playing basketball in high school, Gustafson only mentioned two specific moments. “Winning a regional and a sectional championship my senior year seems to be a fitting end to my high school career.”

Gustafson loved playing basketball ever since he was little, he said that shooting a basketball came quite naturally for him and it didn’t take him long to perfect his jump shot. After attending Illinois State University for one semester, Gustafson transferred to IVCC in hopes to continue his athletic career in basketball, and to be closer to home to have more time to spend with his family.

After having to wait until the halfway point of the season, to be eligible to play, Tyler was able to make an immediate impact for the Eagles in his first games on the court.

Gustafson said, “sitting out that many games and having to watch from the sidelines definitely helped me understand and read certain situations better, and it prepared me for what to expect once I can finally play.”

In his first 11 games for the eagles, Gustafson averaged 7.2 points and 3.1 rebounds, while shooting 41.3% from the field, 80% from the free throw line, and an incredible 44.2% from behind the three-point line.

When asked about his ability to shoot the ball, Gustafson could only smile and say, “I have always been a good shooter. When I was younger, I was ahead of a lot of kids because I was a better shooter, I’ve always continued to work hard to get better, and it has definitely paid off over the years.”

Gustafson is able to provide a lot of energy for the eagles and he is excited for the off season, to work on his game and return even better, this coming fall.

But although Gustafson is a great basketball player, his friends and family admire him for the fun and loving person that he is. His character and fearless attitude on the court, combined with his skill set and work ethic provide a promising future for him at IVCC.

Gustafson is the perfect example of what hard work, and dedication leads to in sports. He has continuously worked hard to improve his skills and he has reached personal goals that he previously thought to be unreachable. His coaches love the competitive edge that he brings to the game and how easy he is to coach, making him the ultimate team player, and someone that eagles fans should be excited to watch on the court, over the next few seasons.