Five Things to Know: TYLER HERRO
After an impressive showing at the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team October Minicamp, Tyler Herro (Whitnall H.S./Greenfield, Wis.) received the call he had been waiting for, as he was selected to the 2018 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team that will take on the World Select Team in the 21st annual Nike Hoop Summit on Friday, April 13, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
The 6-foot-4 scoring phenom spoke with USAB.com about his first opportunity to represent the USA in competition, and other things.
Dream come true 🔥🇺🇸 https://t.co/d1QoHlSBX1
— Tyler Herro (@raf_tyler) March 13, 2018
A Natural Scorer
Herro probably no-look-shoots napkins into the trashcans of the cafeteria at Whitnall High School – that’s how easy getting buckets has been for him since his freshman year. He put up 15.8 points per game his freshman season and made a hefty jump to 24.0 ppg. his sophomore season.
A meniscus injury sidelined him for much of his junior year, but he managed to average 23.2 ppg. through 13 games.
At one point during his senior campaign, which finished 20-5 for Whitnall with a heartbreaking loss in Wisconsin’s Division 2 sectional semifinal, Herro was putting up 40 points per contest.
“I get up at 5:30 or so every morning and get in the gym to get some shots up,” he said. “Then, after school, I hit the weights for a bit. I try to work on becoming more explosive and basketball-specific exercises to become a stronger player. And after dinner and schoolwork, I try to finish the day off with more shots, just to bring it all full circle.”
Check out highlights Overtime posted on Instagram of Herro and his performance at the 2017 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team October Minicamp:
Herro needed just 587 points in his senior year (he scored 649 his sophomore season) to eclipse the 2,000-point mark. Only 30 players have reached that figure in Wisconsin state history, but Herro had his eyes sit on it from the outset.
After returning from a calf injury, he got it by pouring in 34 points in his second-to-last high school game.
“It was really cool,” he said of the accomplishment. “I just kept scoring, then I realized 2,000 was a realistic goal midseason, and one I wanted to get. It was something I had in mind that I hoped I could eventually get to, so it meant a lot to get it in our playoff game against one of our rivals.”
The KD Video
Perhaps you’ve seen it. If not, give it a watch. All of Tyler Herro’s friends have seen it. The viral video now of two-time Olympic gold medalist Kevin Durant breaking down film of 2018’s top high school recruits, with Herro included.
“I had hundreds of texts. When I saw that pop up on my phone, it was such a cool moment,” Herro said of the day the video dropped.
“That’s one of the best players in the world talking about my game, so it was just crazy to see. He’s one of the best scorers to ever play the game, so for him to say, ‘You can’t just be out here jumping over people, you have to be skilled,’ – stuff like that. In the video, I think I was the only one he called ‘skilled’ and that’s of course one of the things I take great pride in, being able to do the other stuff rather than just be athletic.
“Early on, I think people labeled me as a spot-up shooter. I spent hours in the gym working on the craft, to become more athletic and stronger so I could assert myself more in the game – attacking off the dribble and obviously being a threat on defense, as well.”
If Herro hasn’t met his favorite player yet, surely he will at some point in Lexington, as Herro has signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of Kentucky. That player would be Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, who starred for the Wildcats in 2014-15.
“I watched him a little bit in high school, and then being a fan of Kentucky, he was there doing his thing,” said Herro.
“A lot of people say that he and I have a lot of similar attributes, obviously being shooters. I watch his game and model mine after his. I like his style, and I like studying his game.”
Big Blue Boost
You can run, but you can’t hide. This applies to Herro in a couple of ways – one being that he is a Wisconsin born and bred prospect that once verbaled to the in-state Badgers only to change his route for a school he grew up admiring.
He labeled the time since his de-commitment as “different.”
“I’ve had to stay true to myself,” Herro explained. “My circle got tighter. It’s good to see that I have good people around me that are helping me out.”
That’s part of the process, he says, but he’s happy with where he’s at, and so are the masses of UK fans.
Herro visited Lexington two weeks after he was offered a scholarship by coach John Calipari at his home in Wisconsin, and he knew exactly what he wanted before even concluding his trip.
“I remember walking out of their practice facility, and there were just people lined up to talk to the team,” Herro said. “There were fans out there asking me for my autograph. I wasn’t even on the team. It’s crazy to see how diehard their fans are.”
While his circle may remain tight, his family just got a whole lot bigger. Since signing, Big Blue Nation has swarmed his social media.
“My Instagram followers went up about 50,000 since the season started. It has to be all Kentucky fans. I was at 30,000 before I committed to Kentucky, and it just keeps going up.”
The 2018 Nike Hoop Summit will be played at 7 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 13, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available at bit.ly/nikehoopsummit2018.