Story by Thomas Becker
CHARLOTTETOWN - He has a special place in his heart for Prince Edward Island. It’s where he established himself as a university all-star and a first-time professional. And it’s one of the many reasons why Tyler Scott decided to re-sign with the Island Storm.
“They’ve embraced me and seen me grow as a basketball player,” he said. “When it comes to their sports, P.E.I. has one of the greatest fan bases in Canada. They go above and beyond to support their team. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
The mutual interest between the two parties shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Scott enjoyed a solid rookie campaign, where he averaged 8.7 points on 41.2 per cent shooting (36.5 per cent from deep), while grabbing 2.6 rebounds per contest in a reserve role. Scott’s versatility is an added bonus as he can start or come off the bench without a drop in performance. In nine games as a starter, his production increased to 12.3 points per game. With the added experience, Storm fans should be thrilled to have the up-and-coming guard on their side.
“We’re very happy to have Tyler back with us,” said head coach Tim Kendrick. “He’s entering his second pro season and we expect him to be much more comfortable with a better understanding of the league.”
Scott’s skillset transitioned smoothly to the professional ranks, despite his rookie status. He was still able to find the shots that made him a household name, including his signature pull-up jumper from beyond the arc. The six-foot-three shooting guard doesn’t lack confidence in his shot-making ability, as he launched 137 three-point attempts in 2017-18, which accounted for 55 per cent of his field goals.
“He’s an elite level shooter with extended range and with a year under his belt, we believe he’ll come back stronger,” Kendrick added.
Still, the season didn’t come without some growing pains.
“Compared to university ball, the main differences between the two are the speed of the game and guys’ IQs,” the three-time Atlantic University Sport (AUS) all-star said. “In the AUS you have a slower paced game with more half-court sets. From what I’ve experienced in my first year, teams are looking to push the pace and get up and down the floor.”
Having veterans to play alongside and learn from helped the 26-year-old adjust to the faster-paced league and was another driving force that kept him from pursuing other opportunities.
“Learning from the vets we have on the team is amazing,” he said. “Being able to play at the highest level and compete against some of the best basketball players around the world is something kids dream of growing up.”
Now that the Halifax, Nova Scotia native in under contract for another season, he doesn’t want to disappoint the fans who get a thrill each time he takes the floor.
“We’re looking for another great playoff push,” he said. “I’m always looking to get better in every aspect of the game and to bring more experience and leadership to the team.”
And he couldn’t be happier to do that with the team that gave him a chance to shine on the big stage in the first place.
“It means a lot. If you know professional sports, it’s not easy to keep a job. Guys get moved left, right and centre. So for the Storm to extend their hand and bring me back for another season is a great feeling.”