Progress is impossible without change.
This summer Tyson Etienne had a tough decision to make. He enjoyed his time at Dwight Englewood High, but he knew it was time for a change of scenery. After a long time of deliberation on the matter, Tyson chose to transfer out of state to Long Island Lutheran.” I decided that was just the best choice for me right now as a player,” said Etienne. “I wanted to continue learning the game at an elite level. I love the coaching staff here. It just made sense.”
The leap of faith has paid huge dividends for Etienne. The crafty guard had a breakout year on the circuit for PSA Cardinals this past spring. Tyson has continued to elevate his game this season and the offers are rolling in fast. The explosive guard has offers from Cincinatti, Minnesota, Fordham, UMass, Old Dominion and more.
Recently we sat down to Tyson to discuss his summer on the circuit with PSA Cardinals, LuHi Basketball, The difference between high school basketball in New Jersey and New York and more. - Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop
TheDribbleDrop: This spring, you played AAU basketball for the PSA Cardinals. How was that experience?
Tyson Etienne: Well I played for the PSA Cardinals, which is a Nike sponsored team based in New York City. We played in the EYBL during all sessions. I had a great time playing for them this year. One of my favorite tournaments was during one of the EYBL sessions in Los Angeles. We had a great game against Rohan Elite. I learned a lot this summer. It pushed me to work harder on my craft so I can take myself to another level this summer.
TheDribbleDrop: Last year you played for Dwight Englewood High School in New Jersey. Tell me about your experience.
Tyson Etienne: I had a great experience there. We had a good season last year. I gained a lot of good friends during my time there, like Jalen Carey, who is one of my best friends. It was good for me to have the ball in my hands and run team.
TheDribbleDrop: You now play for Long Island Lutheran. Tell me why this was the perfect fit for you?
Tyson Etienne: In regards to transferring to Long Island Lutheran, I decided that was just the best choice for me right now as a player. I wanted to continue learning the game at an elite level. I love the coaching staff here. It just made sense.
TheDribbleDrop: How would you describe LuHi basketball?
Tyson Etienne: Challenging. They challenge us on and off the court. On the court they challenge us everyday. There are no shortcuts. Off the court they challenge us as well. They push us to become good students and great members of the community.
TheDribbleDrop: If you were to highlight one facet of your team that makes you guys stand out, what would it be and why?
Tyson Etienne: Our togetherness. We all enjoy each other’s presence. We might yell at each other here and there on the floor but it’s never with ill intention. We all want this so bad and we know what each and every one of us are capable of doing.
TheDribbleDrop: Today you played in the Empire Invitational at Adelphi University Vs South Shore. Describe the pace of the game and how your team played.
Tyson Etienne: I think we continued to take steps forward as a team. Coach pushes us to play at a fast tempo. He puts pressure on me to play at a fast pace but under control. We pushed the ball and played defense.
TheDribbleDrop: Tell me one facet of your game your worked hard to improve on this off-season.
Tyson Etienne: My one on one scoring. I knew I could score in a system but I wanted to become a hard defend for opponents in general off the bounce.
TheDribbleDrop: Right now you are uncommitted. What is one thing you are looking for from a program?
Tyson Etienne: The best fit for me. To be able to play a lot. To be able to have the ball in my hands and be allowed to lead a team.
TheDribbleDrop:What position do you see yourself playing on the next level?
Tyson Etienne: I would say I’m a combo guard. A little bit of both.
TheDribbleDrop: What’s a personal and team goal for your junior year?
Tyson Etienne: We are focused on winning a state championship. It’s been 11 years since we have won it all. We want to be the team that raises that banner.
TheDribbleDrop: Having played on both sides, what do you think is the biggest difference between New Jersey and New York basketball?
Tyson Etienne: The shot clock is the biggest difference. It forces the game to be at a faster pace.
TheDribbleDrop: Now that you have played on both sides, which basketball landscape do you prefer right now: New Jersey or New York?
Tyson Etienne: I’m a Jersey boy (laughs.) With that being said I’m in New York now so I’ll go with New York right now.