ASHLAND, Ore. – Southern Oregon head coach Brian McDermott knew he’d landed a future star when the team signed Coos Bay prospect Kyle Tedder three years ago. The problem wasn’t so much that McDermott was competing with other schools, rather with other sports.
“I think that somewhere along the line he got convinced that the best thing for him would be to come to a place and play a sport that he loves, that he knew he loved and he knew he’d play,” said McDermott.
Tedder was an all-state quarterback, defensive back and punter at Marshfield high school. His former coach has no doubt he could be a star had he chosen that path.
“I imagine if he would have went in that direction, he’s probably right now playing football at Oregon State, but things worked out,” said Justin Ainsworth. “They work out for a reason.”
Tedder’s reason for choosing the hardcourt over the gridiron was simple.
“At a young age, I just grew up with a bigger passion for hooping instead of playing football,” said Tedder.
So the sharp shooting guard left offers on the table to sign with SOU, and three years later, the decision is paying off.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out,” said Tedder. “My life would be completely different if I had made another choice.”
“Right now he’s one of the most efficient players in the league,” said McDermott. “He’s just a really, really good shooter, and he’s got the ability to get to the basket.”
With one more year left at Southern Oregon, Tedder’s already made his mark on the program, but the former two-sport standout left a lasting legacy at Marshfield High.
“He was league MVP in football and basketball,” said Jesse Ainsworth, Tedder’s basketball coach at Marshfield. “I mean, he had a phenomenal high school career. So rare, and all the young kids around here, all the freshmen, they still know who he is.”
Although the football cleats are in retirement, Tedder still brings a little of his football background to the game of hoops.
“He’s not afraid,” said McDermott. “When you’re able to play the positions that he did in football and when he played in basketball, you’re always in that sort of leadership role and that role where you’re going to have to make a play.”
“I was a quarterback,” said Tedder. “I just try to run things, and it helped me as far as being a leader and helping my team win every night.”
Tedder, remembered in high school partly for his fiery in-game demeanor, still brings that same passion in college.
“I’m a competitor. I love to win. I love to compete,” said Tedder. “Sometimes it gets the best of me, but I’m getting better at being able to use it in better ways.”
“Off the court, he’s just a great guy,” said Jeff Bush, Tedder’s teammate. “You love being around him. He’s got a great personality. He’s really down to earth. He’s got a really good heart, but you get him on the court, it’s like a different beast.”
“There’s not a challenge that Kyle will ever back down to,” said Jesse Ainsworth. “It doesn’t matter if the guy’s bigger, tougher, stronger, faster. He doesn’t have quit in him.”
A task that served him well in two sports at Marshfield and now has Tedder making an impact at Southern Oregon.