Hayward WI - 2021 graduate from the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School, Tyson Radermacher, is at the center of attention for the Local Athlete Spotlight.
Tyson is a Freshman at Haskell Indian Nations University. Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) is the premiere tribal university in the United States, offering quality education to Native American students. Haskell’s student population averages about 1000 per semester, and all students are members of federally recognized tribes. Haskell’s faculty and staff is predominantly native, and their historic campus is centrally located in Lawrence, KS, offering Associate and Bachelors degrees.
Haskell Indian Nations University is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and offers 9 varsity sports which compete in the Continental Athletic Conference.
Tyson is on the Varsity Reserve team which sits with a 2-1 record, currently. Their loss came to Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Missouri. The next games to follow were wins against Ottawa University, and University of Saint Mary. Tyson currently averages 7.7 points per game in a heavy rotation where everyone gets similar playing time.
There is a moment in time for any athlete where they start getting serious about training, workouts, the weight room, attending events, and playing in AAU or exposure circuits. When asked about his tipping point moment, Tyson states, “It was after my Junior year, I started to realize that I could score some points and make some things happen. I really felt like I could play with anyone, and make an impact on a college roster.” While the term college roster is quite vague, we drilled down a bit further to see where he felt he could play. Tyson cited, “United Tribes Community College, Gobebic, UW-Superior and some of the other WIAC schools were on my radar.” However, as his Senior year started, there were no recruitment activities. Into the season, there were no recruitment activities, and once his Senior year came to a conclusion. There were no coaches asking him to come and play for their program.
The journey for Tyson was not one very many can tolerate. The journey was a bumpy one with a lot of trials and tribulations along the way.
Tyson elected to undergo a gap year whereas he attended the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University in Hayward Wisconsin on the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation. Here he took credits to get his general education requirements taken care of, while also training with his AAU coach and hitting the weight room. Tyson still felt that despite no offers, he was determined to wear that jersey as a college athlete.
After the gap year, Tyson sent the head coach at Haskell Indian Nations University some Hudl film and highlights from his senior year, along with an email that he planned to attend tryouts. Tyson chose Haskell Indian Nations University for a couple of reasons. First, he had relatives that were attending Haskell, so he would know some people. Second, he really liked the idea of going to an All-Native college where he could relate to his peers. Coming from the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School, whereas all the students are enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe, Tyson felt this would make the transition easier for him.
Tyson attended the Spring 2023 semester at Haskell. Here he played with the men’s team in open gyms, and ultimately found himself playing in a summer league with the Haskell men’s team which helped him become familiar with the players and coaches, as well as getting accustomed to the style of play. In the August of 2023, Tyson found himself trying out for the team, and was awarded a roster spot. While it wasn’t what he was hoping for, Tyson made the Varsity Reserve team.
Preparing for The Moment
When asked what helped him prepare for this moment, Tyson mentions, “I spent a lot of time training, lifting, putting up extra shots, and just working on every part of my game. I spent a lot of time learning about rest, recovery, stretching, taking care of my body, and nutrition.” Tyson credits his time with Rising Stars Basketball as a key part of his journey. “Rising Stars really helped me gain the confidence that I can play against the best in the Midwest. I can guard, I can score, and I can run a team” states Tyson, as he refers to the year his AAU team went 9-2 in the summer with some formidable wins over powerhouse clubs in the Midwest housing athletes with D2 and D1 basketball scholarships.
Displaying All of the Hard Work
On the Varsity Reserve roster, Tyson currently averages 7.7 points per game across three games. Tyson states, “I really feel like I could do more, it’s just a matter of being confident in my skills and abilities. Expanding my role is my goal, so I have to keep my confidence high. I’m super comfortable shooting the ball and playing defense, so I feel I was prepared for that part. Where my improvement needs to come is learning the rotations, and getting to my spots. The game is played way faster than high school, the guards are 10x quicker.” Moving from being a starter in high school, the primary scorer and ball handler to being a role player isn’t an easy move to make for a lot of athletes. However, Tyson is taking it in stride and enjoying the ride. Tyson went on to say, “That’s how it works at this level, I just have to work harder and earn my minutes. I have to keep my head down and keep grinding, putting in the extra work. I’m spending a lot of time doing things others aren’t doing to make up for what I am behind on. I’m doing extra workouts on my own, getting up extra shots in the morning, after practice and during the day, I’m focusing on stretching more to keep my body fresh, focusing on rest and recovery. You never know when you’ll get the nod to play more minutes, so you have to always be prepared. I’m doing just a bit more than everyone else, and I feel that will pay off for me.” The work might already be paying off, as Tyson scored 10 points against Metropolitan Community College, 5 points against Ottawa University and 8 points against University of Saint Mary. He looked very comfortable shooting the ball when he was open, and has played some tremendous on-ball defense in his first three games.
Student Comes Before Athlete
On the academic side of things Tyson cites that it was a struggle at first going from a small school like LCO to attending Haskell. As a college athlete, you are required to balance rest, sleep, recovery, practices, weight room sessions, film sessions and any extra work you want to put in to get ahead. Let’s not forget about being a college student and smelling the roses. Tyson talks about going back to the drawing board and looking at his week from Monday through Sunday, and planning out his activities to get his life organized. He states, “It’s a must if you want to succeed at this level.”
Blazing the Trail for Younger Athletes
As always, we ask the athlete what kind of advice they would give to a room of aspiring Juniors and Seniors that want to follow in their shoes. Tyson confidently shares, “Stay focused. Get your school work done, you cannot stress the importance of getting your academics taken care of. If you struggle with taking constructive criticism, start now, if you want to play at the next level. You also have to be able to acknowledge that there is work to do, you’re a work in progress. Above all, enjoy the journey, this has to be fun because if your dream is nothing but work and criticism, you won’t stick with it very long. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the process.”
Tyson has found a passion in Sports Medicine and will be working on pursuing a career in Sports Medicine.
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