Tykei Greene: From Unknown Prospect to Loyola-Chicago Commitment

Photo courtesy of Johnnie Photography.

By David Cordova

In the battlegrounds of New York City, there are the marquee names, and there are the unknown. The unknown are the ones that have talent, but are dying to showcase their talent, yet, many of them have gotten little exposure.

Such was the case for Tykei Greene. And then all it took was a transfer to a big-time program, and things changed for him forever.

“Just the way that I grew up, I always played basketball. It’s the way to keep me on track,” says Greene about being on the court. “So, I give my everything to basketball, so I can be successful.”

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard from South Jamaica, Queens is one of the most explosive players in the high school class of 2018. Every game he steps on the court, he is looking to get his points, and also a few highlight-reel plays in there too.

“I’ve been playing basketball since fifth grade,” says Greene about his start with the game. “That’s when I really took it serious, and knew that I could make money playing off of it.”

Greene talked about the hoops culture in his area, which has produced plenty of talent years. He added: “Basketball culture in [Jamaica], they’re very tough sometimes, you just got to play through it, but they only try to do that to get you better.”

Greene’s talent went unnoticed mainly because he didn’t play on a major AAU sneaker circuit. But he did play on Team A.J. Price, the program named after the former UConn star guard.

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Greene tries to get through two defenders for a layup. (Photo courtesy of Johnnie Photography)

When asked about playing for Team A.J. Price, he replied, “Playing on Team A.J. Price, it taught me to be more of a leader, and to help my team to win to be successful, that’s why playing for Team A.J. Price is the reason why I am the way I am now.”

Another reason for his ascent, was his exposure through his highlights from the mixtape company, East Coast Hoops, which went viral and showcased him as a hidden gem that many coaches needed to know.

Greene first started out playing high school basketball at Thomas Edison High School in Jamaica, Queens, where he torched the PSAL Queens “A” East division, with plenty of scoring barrages. As a junior with the Inventors, he averaged 24.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

When asked about his time at Thomas Edison, Greene replied, “At Thomas Edison, it was rough because I wasn’t getting the exposure I needed, but I still played and gave everything, and now look who I am.”

Needing some exposure, Greene decided to transfer to New York State powerhouse Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School, in Brookville, New York, for his senior year. The great thing about LuHi, as the school is commonly referred to, is that they are mainly an independent program that gets a bye all the way to the New York State Federation tournament in March and they play an outstanding schedule, as well as exposure to Division I colleges.

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Greene attempts to go up strong for a layup. (Photo courtesy of Johnnie Photography)

When asked about the contrast of going to a public school in Queens to a prestigious private school in the suburbs of Long Island, Greene replied, “I say, going to LuHi, is much like family, every one is nice to you, the education is great, the teachers are nice, they have a lot of enthusiasm while they’re teaching, it’s just a place to be, playing basketball and education.”

As a senior, he was one of the key pieces on a LuHi squad that finished 22-3 and played a big-time schedule. He averaged 15 points and five rebounds per game for a loaded Crusaders squad.

When asked about his final high school season with the Crusaders, Greene replied, “You know, I really worked on my game, I really worked on my shot, free throws. Still need work on my handle, but I really transformed my game tremendously to get a Division I scholarship.”

Last month, after fielding plenty of offers from schools, he decided to attend Loyola-Chicago, who was the Cinderella team that played in the NCAA Final Four this past season, and shocked the world as they proved that a mid-major program can hang with the blue bloods. Very reminiscent of how Greene proved he could play against elite competition.

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Greene tries to pull off an acrobatic layup. (Photo courtesy of Johnnie Photography)

When asked about why he chose to go to Loyola-Chicago, he replied, “I saw when I went there, everyone was nice to you, you know, coming off of a big, successful Final Four run, everybody’s just, you want to be a part of once you get there, because you want to make that ride with them.”

Now that he is on the collegiate scene now, it is time for Greene to perform. But just like in high school, he is poised to make a statement. And he always rose to the occasion before, so who’s to say, that he won’t do it again?

When asked what can be expected of him with the Ramblers next season, he replied, “Just me, working on my game every day, trying to get better, hopefully, trying to get to the championship [game] this time.”

Highlights of Tykei Greene:

Courtesy of East Coast Hoops.

Courtesy of East Coast Hoops.

Courtesy of East Coast Hoops.

Courtesy of East Coast Hoops.

Courtesy of HS Box Scores NYC, LLC.

Courtesy of Stadium.

 

Courtesy of HS Box Scores NYC, LLC.

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