Bill Tyner has been a bright spot for Haskell's struggling men's basketball team.
Tyner is the lone returning starter on a Haskell team that has won only three of 17 games.
"He's a great team player who knows what to do in key situations," Haskell coach Walt Wilson said.
As a freshman last year, Tyner led the Indians in scoring by averaging more than 21 points a game. The 6-foot-3 guard became the first freshman named to the All-Region VI NJCAA team in 12 years.
Tyner's scoring numbers are down this year, mainly because opposing teams have focused their defenses on him.
"In the beginning of the season, teams played a lot of box-and-one," Tyner said. "I've learned to play through it and give up some shots for the team."
Wilson appreciates Tyner's unselfishness.
"Bill Tyner is the best player-person I have coached at Haskell," Wilson said. "He is a good student-athlete, has great work habits and outstanding leadership qualities."
Tyner is from Cleveland, Okla., a town about 30 miles from Tulsa.
"When I was growing up, we lived six miles out of town," he said. "There was no one around to play with, so I would go shoot baskets by myself. I didn't start playing organized basketball until I was in the eighth grade."
Tyner earned all-conference and all-district honors at Cleveland High. He went on to Carl Albert JC in Poteau, Okla., but dropped out after a semester and enrolled at Haskell the next year after a cousin and Haskell graduate, Claudia Tyner, gave him a tour of the campus.
"There are some four-year colleges interested in him," Haskell coach Wilson said. "He'll do well at the next level, and I believe he'll just get better."
Haskell's next game is Friday night against Hesston College. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at Coffin Complex.