At first sight Treye Tucker doesn’t stand out physically. Standing at five feet six inches and weighing lttle more than 100 pounds he’s not the most intimidating player on the basketball court. It’s the intangibles that stand out about Tucker.
“My first impression of Treye he really has a personality on the court,” says head coach Justin Sheley. “He’s a fun kid off the court. I love having him on the team. I love getting to know him. But the first time you look at is his size, he’s a small kid. You’re thinking I’ve heard people talk about him. What’s he going to bring to the table?”
Despite his small stature Tucker has shown he belongs on the court from the very start.
“He definitely brought it. He showed he belongs with older guys. Even when he was an 8th grader here he would show up to open gyms. Going to a summer league his freshman year. You know he definitely showed he belongs,” says Sheley.
“One thing about Treye is what he lacks in size he makes up for in heart,” says Christian Life senior Adam Ambrogio. “The kid definitely has a heart for the game. He’s in here, in the gym working and even after practice he trains, always working on his shot. So he’s always working and improving.”
It’s the not the first time Tucker has had to prove himself. It’s something he has to deal with every time he walks on the court.
“Every time I walk into the gym I have to prove myself,” says Tucker. “Every time I walk into the gym I’m some short white kid. I always have to prove myself… Everyone’s down on me. So I just have to make sure they know I’m not some terrible kid.”
Tucker is a natural pass-first point guard. His excellent court vision and ball handling skills drive the Eagles offense. But it’s his flashy passing that really grabs your attention.
“I like distributing the ball because like you said the flashy passes. It really gets the crowd involved, and then it gets my teammates really happy about it because they’re scoring the basketball,” says Tucker.
Tucker says he’s picked some of his artistry from watching some of the best to ever play the game.
“I like to go on Youtube. I like to model my play off NBA players or college players. I watch a lot of Stephen Curry, Jason Williams, a lot of those kinds of players. Then I kind of try to translate that in my play, and so that’s really where it comes from.”
But with young players there is always a learning curve. Tucker’s stylish dishes don’t always go the way he sees them on TV, and for his teammates it’s been an adjustment playing with Tucker.
“I know a couple times in the beginning of the season dude I was just like, Give it to me an easy pass’. Now I’ve adjusted to it. Gotten use to those behind the back passes or something like that, and no look passes,” says Ambrogio.
None the less his teammates like playing with Tucker and Tucker enjoys playing with them.
“It’s fun because I’ve never had a team like this can finish the basket, and big guys like this. Adam dunking, Mitch and Eli they can finish. They can shoot the ball from wherever. Spencer, he’s like of the best shooters I’ve seen,” says Tucker.
Tucker can also put the ball in the hoop. He scored 18 points against Pearl City, 23 points against Polo, and a season-high 35 points against Keith this season.”
Tucker’s basketball skills come as no surprise to the people who know him. He comes from a hoops-loving family. Not only were his parents students of the game but also teachers. His dad Travas is an assistant coach of the boys varsity team.
“When we get home we watch film,” says Tucker. “He’ll (Tucker’s father) tell me how to improve myself. What I can do to do better in the game. Teach me how to have more court vision, and where I’m turning the ball over and where I’m not.”
Tucker’s mom Michelle coached the girls varsity team at Christian Life for several seasons, but she resigned a few years ago so she could watch all of Treye’s games.
“I’m blessed and thankful that my mom gets see all my games. Some kids their parents don’t get to see their games,” says Tucker.
Tucker’s parents have inspired his fiery competitiveness that he brings every time he laces it up his sneakers.
“I have him gym class and he’s just as competitive at anything we do at gym as he is on the court,” says Ambrogio. “So we’re playing hockey and he’s hitting goals and freaking out about the littlest things.”
“I feel l always have to be in the gym. I want to be the best competitor I can,” says Tucker. “I always want people to think I’m their biggest game, and I want them to always be like, ‘Wow that kid is amazing!”