His team had just won the Tri Series Tournament for the ISA (Independent Schools Association) for the first time in over 20 years. The next day a shattering injury sidelined him.
Chevalier College’s Tyler Ottosson broke his wrist and required surgery. A plate was installed and it kept Tyler off the courts for six months.
He rehabbed, worked hard and came back to pull of a miraculous feat at the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup in Albury as a member of the under 18 men’s NSW Kookaburra team.
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But it was the passion and love for the game that got him back on the hardwood.
“I would have been about 11 or 12 years old when I started playing the game of basketball,” Tyler said.
“It was my stepdad that introduced me by buying us a basketball hoop and some balls, ever since then I’ve been playing.”
It wasn’t love at first sight for Tyler and the game of basketball.
“I didn’t really think much of it at first but I ended up really getting into it.
“What I really love about the game is the friendships that I’ve made. I’ve participated in a lot of camps all around NSW. Now I have mates in Bathurst and Coffs Harbour. I also enjoy that I can compete at a high level and the competition. So I was really happy when I was selected for the state squad.
“I got home from school and mum was already on the computer looking up announcements and as I’d been out the game it felt good to be coming back.”
The breaking of Tyler’s wrist may have physically affected him for six months but it was the mental scars he found most difficult to recover from.
“I was scared I was going to do something to it again (wrist) when I first got back on the court, but the more I played the more my confidence grew,” Tyler said.
In Albury, Tyler and his teammates were pushed to their mental and physical limits.
Playing in searing 45 degree heat, the team did the unthinkable, but accomplishing the unimaginable was a major gut check.
“To be honest, you couldn’t play the game at the pace you’d like to,” Tyler said.
“We had ice on our necks, the stadium provided fans but running the floor with quick pace, a few games we just couldn’t do that.
“We ran out of legs but it did get cooler towards the end of the week.”
That cool change bought on a ice cold performance as Otto’s team went on undefeated throughout the competition.
“We played as a team. We had to dig deep and everyone had each others back,” Tyler said.
“It was an overall team effort.”
They went through the tournament competing against teams from Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and New Zealand.
We played as a team. We had to dig deep and everyone had each others back. It was an overall team effort.Tyler Ottosson
They won the grand final 89-65 against the Victorian Goldminers. They were the only team to beat Victoria in any age group and walked away with the gold medal.
2019 is a huge year for Tyler. He will participate in nationals with for the NSW Country under 18 men’s team throughout April. They will be held in Townsville.
“I’ll be going there with the mind set we’ll take home a medal,”
“After that, I’ll finish off the season with the Illawarra Hawks under 18 men’s rep team and see where 2019 takes me.”