Standout freshman a last-second addition


Photo by Sam Robinson | Point Park Athletics

Tyra James encourages her teammates on December 12 in their game against Carlow University.

Written By Dara Collins, Staff Writer

Tyra James traveled a long way from her Toledo, Ohio home to begin a new chapter in her life at Point Park.

Upon graduating from high school, James knew she wanted to pursue an education and basketball career. However, Point Park was not her first choice.

“Point Park was actually my last choice,” James said. “The day Point Park called me, I was getting ready to send my down payment to a school in Tiffin, Ohio, called Heidelberg College, and I had some other smaller offers.”

Contrary to her original plan, James now proudly wears the No. 23 for the Pioneers. The Whitmer High School point guard has accumulated the most minutes out of the entire freshman class players as a shooting guard.

“She’s an excellent shooter,” Head Coach Tony Grenek said. “She’s got good length, and she’s very rangy with long arms.”

Teammates describe James as the type of player who is not afraid to shoot.

“When Tyra’s on the court, there’s no doubt that the ball will go in,” freshman guard Marissa Rose said. “She has a go-getter attitude and will always shoot if she has the opportunity.”

James often remembers lessons from her previous coach and differences between high school and college basketball. The versatile player responds well to different coaching methods.

“You need to be yelled at and be disciplined, but you don’t need to be cussed at all the time,” James said. “Also, coaches need to realize you’re coaching girls, you’re not coaching guys and it’s a completely different thing. Guys can take criticism way better than girls can.”

The athlete tried other sports, but found her true passion playing basketball.

“I played volleyball and ran track my freshman year, but I didn’t really enjoy it,” James said. “Basketball is what I love.”

From a young age, James remembers accompanying her father to the gym.

“As soon as I could walk, I was dribbling a basketball,” James said.

James followed her father and uncle’s footsteps and began playing competitively at the age of five.

“My dad does motivate me a little bit, but at the same time, I play more for myself,” James said.

Off the court, James enjoys spending time with friends, watching Netflix and facing new experiences. She also participates in the Body Christian Fellowship organization on campus.

James can be found in the classroom studying business management. She hopes to utilize a business degree, a passion for sports and a love of cooking to create a successful sports bar in the future.

“I graduated from a high school with a culinary program where the students ran a restaurant for the public,” James said. “I also have had multiple jobs where I ran the line in the kitchen.”

James admits basketball shaped her personality and who she is today.

“Tyra is a great friend off the court and is always there to make someone laugh,” Rose said.

“I like her personality,” Grenek said. “She’s very loose. She likes to have fun, she’s a great kid and I really expect great things from her in the future.”