By Mitchell P. McDonald
With the prep basketball season officially underway, this column will highlight St. Paul Johnson point guard ESTAN TYLER.
Tyler, a 6’-1”, 175-pound senior, recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Missouri Kansas City. He averaged 14 points per game last season while leading the Governors to a 32-0 record and Class 3A state championship last year. As a sophomore, he helped Johnson capture third place honors in Class 3A state tournament competition.
After four-year starting point guard SAL SIMMONS graduated in 2007, Tyler stepped in and the Governors have not missed a beat. With him at the point guard helm, Johnson has won three consecutive St. Paul City Conference titles, made two state tournament appearances as starting point guard, and has played for 43 Hoops and Minnesota Pump ’n’ Run, two of the state’s top AAU programs.
Last season, Tyler earned all-state, all-metro and all-state tournament honors and was selected all-conference for the third consecutive season. In addition to his scoring, Tyler led Johnson in assists (4.1 per game) and free throw percentage (78.9 percent), while shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 40.8 percent on 147 three-points attempts. He also pulled down 3.1 rebounds per contest and notched 1.8 steals per game.
Tyler now enters his senior season as a finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball award and a top-20 ranked point guard in the Midwest and top-100 ranked point guard in the nation.
He comes from a family with a basketball background. Uncles TOBY TYLER and FRANK GARDNER-RANSOM starred at St. Paul Central during the early 1990s. Tyler’s father WILLIE TYLER started at point guard for three years at Woodbury High School before a stellar career at Inver Hills Community College and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.