On Friday afternoon, Shamari Tyson made her next college choice official: a trip to Division 1 and playing for Stetson University, located in Florida.
The Fort Wayne native made her announcement on Twitter.
Tyson chose Stetson over Arizona State and Wichita State at the end of her recruiting. She had named her final three schools on April 7. The former All-Area player, who spent her senior season at South Side High School, has spent the last two years sharpening her game on the junior college level and was recently named NJCAA DI Women’s Basketball All-American Second Team after a standout year at South Georgia Technical College (SGTC).
“To me, it was all about academics,” Tyson told Outside the Huddle of Stetson’s final appeal. “Stetson really stressed academics and it just felt like the best opportunity for me to come in and make a really good impact on the school. There was a need for me.”
Tyson was one of six SGTC teammates named Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Division I All-Academic basketball players this season. This offseason, Tyson has also been named to the World Exposure Recruiting/Scouting All-American Third Team.
She will join SGTC teammate Yasriyyah Wazeerud-Din, who recently committed to Stetson as well.
As of her commitment to Stetson, Tyson was widely considered by most Junior College online sources as the top remaining unsigned JUCO point guard in the country. Tyson averaged 14.4 points, 5.5 assists and 2.9 steals per game while shooting 48.9 percent from the field, 47.2 percent from three point range and 83 percent from the foul line.
Tyson had previously been the conference Player of the Year and a Third Team All-American during her freshman season at Southeastern Illinois College. She was the ninth All-American in SIC history before making the move to Georgia for her sophomore season.
“It wasn’t easy,” Tyson laughed of her JUCO career. “I try to put in a lot of work. Nothing was given to me. This year, it was a better environment and it was a better experience.”
SGTC didn’t get a true end to their season with the NJCAA National Tournament never taking place. The Lady Jets, led by Tyson, beat Spartanburg Methodist on March 9 in the District J Championship to earn their fourth straight trip to the National Tournament. That run was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was sad. I cried. We had put in all that hard work just to go to the national tournament. And then it is taken from you right there and then. But there is nothing you can do, so I just didn’t dwell on it,” Tyson said.
As a senior in Fort Wayne at South Side High School, Tyson averaged 13.7 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the field and helping South Side to a SAC Holiday Tournament title. She also averaged a team high 4.6 assists and 3.2 steals per contest in being named IBCA All-State Honorable Mention and All-SAC First Team. She was also All-Area in Northeast Indiana as a sophomore at Wayne High School; she played JV as a junior due to transfer rules.
The JUCO route after high school certainly worked for Tyson, The goal of having multiple Division I offers came to fruition. Outside of her final three schools, Tyson had offers from Coastal Carolina, Troy, Florida A&M, Chicago State, Prairie View A&M and Florida Atlantic. She would suggest that route for players in her same situation out of high school.
“If you have a chance to go to JUCO, I would say go. It is an opportunity. They get you better. It is a chance to showcase your talent and gives you a chance to actually excel,” Tyson said.