Tyler Beard was one of the basketball season’s major success stories, but due to a number of factors the Young senior’s rise didn’t receive much attention.
Beard was a freshman phenom and wowed the crowd at the state finals in Peoria as a sophomore with his high-flying athleticism. That carried over to the summer before his junior season, when he had a breakout performance at NIKE’s Top 100 camp.
Then Beard hit a road bump. It coincided with DJ Steward’s transfer from Fenwick to Young.
“They never had an issue with each other,” Dolphins coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “It was just how to exist on the same stage. So he had some struggles junior year. I think it was more internal than external, just trying to figure things out. He was trying to find his place.”
Beard’s slump continued into the summer after his junior year.
“I dropped off in the rankings after that and it made me hungry,” Beard said. “I wanted to come in and not force anything and just play my game senior year. I didn’t do that last year and that’s why I was in that position.”
Beard delivered. The 6-2 guard had a terrific senior year, including a 24-point performance against Mount Vernon, NY at the prestigious Hoophall Classic that had the national evaluators raving.
“He could have given up, transferred,” Slaughter said. “But he said he was committed to finishing what he had started. He came out this year and worked through the issues and concerns and bumps they had and found a really great place and played really well together.”
Beard committed to Georgetown in late January.
“It was such a relief,” Beard said. “I worked hard for that, to get back to that level. It was honestly really tough, not knowing where I was going to college for a long time and watching other people commit.”
Beard picked up nearly a dozen major scholarship offers during the course of the season. He also had the dunk of the year. Beard leaped over a Schurz player for a spectacular dunk in the city tournament. It made the top ten plays of the day on ESPN’s Sportscenter and went viral online.
Beard is the second highest rated recruit in Georgetown’s class, which also includes Jamari Sibley of Oak Hill, Va. and Kobe Clark from St. Louis Vashon. Beard is the first local player to become a Hoya since Paul White, a 2014 Young graduate.
“We weren’t [playing in Chicago] an awful lot so people didn’t notice,” Slaughter said. “And so much attention was on [Steward and Morgan Park’s Adam Miller] that Tyler operated kind of in obscurity even though he had incredible numbers all year and played at a high level everywhere. I’m really proud of him and what he was able to accomplish. His college years will be spectacular.”