(Lincoln College (IL)
After transitioning from the Junior College level, The Lincoln College Lynx will be entering into only their second year of NAIA basketball this upcoming season. Coach Pat Lepper and staff have been putting together a really nice class this off season, but the foundation they built for NAIA was one that was built during the transition from JUCO to NAIA. A transition that was made a lot smoother when JUCO All-American PG Trayvon Tyler elected to stay at Lincoln and continue to play for Coach Lepper. As a Freshman Trayvon was named to the Mid-West Athletic Conference (MWAC) All-Conference 1st team, and named the MWAC Freshman of the year. He followed that up his sophomore year, by earning the MWAC Player of the year, and was also named a NJCAA DII Third-Team All American.
After Junior College, Trayvon had plenty of options, but reflected back to when he first signed at Lincoln. Coach Lepper was the only one who home visited him back then, and that was why he signed to Lincoln College in the first place. Here it was, two years later, and Trayvon once again had the unique option to sign to play at Lincoln as they moved from a two year college, to a four year institution. Trayvon felt that he already knew and liked his role at Lincoln, and he didn’t want to leave the good position that he was already in, to try and go to another spot. He was already wanted at a place he was comfortable at. Lincoln College was home to him, and they had already had two successful years together. Knowing that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, Trayvon chose to play NAIA basketball, and to continue his journey of playing for the Lynx.
Trayvon spent his junior year showing the NAIA how explosive of a guard he can be. He averaged 18.4 points, 4.3 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game this season to help lead the Lynx to a 22-8 record. He wants kids to know that no matter what level you play, don’t sell yourself short. That you don’t have to play at a higher level to be a good player, and that everyone takes a different route, but it is up to you to make the best of your opportunity.
Trayvon is set to have an explosive 2019-2020 senior year. He will no doubt be one of the best guards at either level of NAIA basketball this season. Coach Lepper and staff have added a good recruiting class, including a couple nice NCAA D1 transfers, to go with the returners from last season. Lincoln College will be eligible for the post season for the first time this year, and could be a new face this year at the NAIA DII National Tournament.