Minneapolis is abuzz with the Final Four coming to town. People from all over the country are coming to enjoy high-quality college basketball. Just 20 miles south sits a small suburb called Lakeville. Although football is the most popular high school sport in Lakeville, the community rallies around all their teams.
In Lakeville is an 18-year-old kid named Tyler Wahl. He is just like any high school kid. When he is not in school or playing basketball, he is hanging with his friends, playing NBA 2K or Fortnite. He and his friends are getting ready to head off to college, but his experience will be different than most people from this Minnesota suburb. He has committed to playing basketball for the Wisconsin Badgers for the upcoming 2019 season. He is one of the 4,000 kids who will play for D1 basketball with a scholarship, something he has worked his whole life for. The Badgers are a well-known and highly respected basketball program.
Ever since Tyler was a kid, basketball was it for him. Tyler said basketball was always the most fun for him, and he was good from a very young age. He played other sports like football, but basketball was always number one, especially after a broken clavicle. His dad played basketball for the University of Minnesota Mankato, so basketball is in his DNA. His sister also played basketball for the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse. Tyler’s earliest basketball memory was a dribbling camp from when he was 5, which was run by his high school coach John Oxton. Now he is a couple of months from moving to Madison and starting a brand new and exciting chapter in his basketball story.
What was it like growing up in Lakeville?
Lakeville is great. The whole community is supportive of all of the sports. Madison will be different because there is more to do when you are bored, and there are people all over the country rooting for you.
Tell me about your high school basketball experience.
I was able to play since my sophomore year for one of the best high school coaches in Minnesota. He was really big on skill work throughout the season. Having a great coach that taught the game well and had a huge emphasis on the defensive end really helped prepare me for college. We made it to state my sophomore year when Nate Reuvers was a senior, third place my junior year and just lost in the championship game a couple of weeks ago.
How did you feel after losing state?
Losing hurt but it was realizing that it was my last time playing with those guys that hurt the most. Going to state is the biggest achievement of my high school career though.
You grew up in Minnesota and had an offer from the Gophers. What stood out about Wisconsin during recruitment?
I felt that I fit in better with their style of play and I fell in love with the campus when I first visited. Everybody involved with the team is like a big family and Wisconsin is known for their education which was also very important to me.
Walk me through a typical game day. How do you prepare for a game?
I will get home from school, take a nap until around 3:30 wake up, make some food then go back to my room and watch tv. After that, I will get my shoes and everything ready and head to the gym around 5 and play at 7.
Music you listen to before a game?
I listen to the weeknd before games.
What do you bring to the Badgers? How does your skill set fit the team?
I will bring versatility being able to play and guard 3-4 different positions. I think my skills will fit in well because our high school team is like the badgers where our defense is very good and we are able to get great shots.
Anything, in particular, you think you need to improve?
I need to continue to become a better ball handler and improve my outside shooting
Is there anyone in particular on the Badgers you are looking forward to playing with?
I am looking forward to playing with Nate again because we played together when I was a sophomore.
What are your goals for college?
I would like to win the B1G Ten and make a run in the tournament.
Any former Badgers or Big Ten standouts you feel your game is similar to?
Other sports teams you are a fan of?
Portland Trail Blazers, Vikings, Twins
Would you ever become a Packer fan?
I don’t think I could ever become a Packer fan. I do like the Bucks and might consider the Brewers.
Favorite current NBA player? All-time favorite basketball player?
Damian Lillard, and Magic Johnson
Tyler Wahl’s Future With The Badgers
Tyler ended his career in high school with the school record in assists in a season (202), Career rebounds (905), and he was even named to the Academic All-State team. Tyler Wahl is a perfect fit for the Badgers on and off the court.
The sky’s the limit for the 6’7 Tyler Wahl. He can play almost all the positions on the floor and will fit right in with the Wisconsin Badgers culture and game plan. Greg Gard said, “We are very excited to add Tyler to our program…his commitment and work ethic in the classroom and on the court is exactly what we look for in a Wisconsin student-athlete.” That explains Tyler perfectly. He has excelled both on and off the court, and he will translate well to college.