Early in his basketball career, when Tyrese Whitley missed a couple of shots, he was sometimes hesitant to shoot the next time he got the ball.
Now a senior at Princeton High School, Whitley has evolved as a player, and his shot has become even purer over the years.
Now, whether he is 9 for 10 like he did against North Duplin earlier in the season or 0 for 10, Whitley genuinely believes the next shot is falling, and during the most crucial part of the game, he wants the ball in his hands.
“It’s been fun playing at Princeton, and coach Cobb (Princeton head coach David Cobb) is a great coach. He gets us better at every practice,” Whitley said.
Whitley is known around the area as a great point guard. It is a reputation he has worked hard to build, and it is a role he does not take lightly.
At the same time, he has also worked to develop other parts of her game – from his driving ability to his defense and leadership skills – along with a knack for making winning plays.
This season, he is part of a strong nucleus that guided Princeton to a 6-0 record.
Whitley scored 24 points and drained four three-pointers in that win against North Duplin. On the season, Whitley is averaging 16.2 points per game, five rebounds and two steals.
“The North Duplin game was fun. We executed, played great defense, and we knocked our shots down like we were supposed to,” Whitley said.
Whitley’s journey as a basketball player began when he was six years old, and he always dreamed of playing varsity basketball in high school.
“It was my goal to play high school basketball ever since I was little,” Whitley said.
He made the junior varsity team as a freshman at Princeton. Whitley continued to polish his game, and he achieved his dream of making the varsity roster when he has a sophomore.
And during his junior season, his role increased. Now, as a senior, he is even more of a leader and steady scoring threat, and he continues to be someone his teammates look up to and admire.
Whitley loves the team’s vibe and is proud of how far the Bulldogs have come, and he believes they can reach even greater heights in the coming weeks.
As they hope to contend for a state title, the Bulldogs know they will have Whitley to lean on – and to take the big shot in the crucial moments.
“I want us to make it to states this year and win a championship,” Whitley said.