Tyler Tio: The Champion Unleashed

The right attitude and the Future Champion 

It is not uncommon to see young kids dream to be a basketball player, and to be the best one at that. You can see them play hoops practically anytime of the day, learning how to make seamless shoots, dribble, passing the ball and every skill there is, and mastering each one of them. To them, life is basketball, 24/7. 

Christian Tyler Tio grew up with his dad and his brother watching basketball games on the telly, which influenced him into the game. At the age of six, he started to work on that dream of becoming the best basketball player, practicing everyday. He later on played varsity for his school, improving his game overtime. 

In the course of time, he learned that basketball is not just about hoops. He learned a lot about the values of discipline, dedication and making certain sacrifices. These he said are “necessary for one to be successful.” And despite the demands of the academics, he managed to juggle his time between school and basketball by completing his homework in school which allows him to make time for the practice. 


Jr. NBA Philippine All Star Team at the Staples Center, LA Photo Credit: Tyler Tio

Jr. NBA Philippine All Star Team at the Staples Center, LA
Photo Credit: Tyler Tio

Jr. NBA Philippines 

The right opportunity presented itself when Tyler was drafted for the Jr. NBA Philippines National Training Camp in 2013. His participation in the National Training Camp was not just an opportunity but a privilege. It was an avenue for him to further hone his skills and improve his game. Together with 49 other campers, he endured the intense drills and workouts involved in the training. Though it may have looked like a competition, it was still a lot of fun because he “got to meet a lot of new people and played basketball at a high level,” Tyler shares. 

“I tried to go as hard as I could and then get the right amount of rest afterwards,” he added, when asked how he coped with the intense training and the hectic schedule at the boot camp. Everyone wanted to make it and had to do his best. Tyler had to do his part by giving his best at all times as well, and live the STAR values because he “badly wanted to make it in the top 10” of the Jr. NBA Philippines All Star Team. Aside from his skills and the right attitude, the Jr. NBA coaches were a big help to boost his chance at getting a spot in the All Star Team. His family was also there to support him by going to the trainings. 

Being selected wasn’t easy. From a total of 50 campers, they were trimmed down to just 20. But his preparations and remarkable on court skills landed him in the top 20. “Honestly, I was kind of confident at that point because I put my full trust in God and worked really hard.” 

They were then grouped into two groups of 10 to prepare them for the team scrimmage later in the day. Considering that none of them had practiced as a team, they had to plot a game strategy just minutes prior to the scrimmage. The scrimmage was an individual knock out game. You have to be the best individually and at the same time you should be able to connect with your team mates. And for him to do just that, he “tried to read what the defence was giving (him), and played hard on the other end.” 

With all his confidence, Tyler was in his most humbled self while the coaches were deliberating who’s going to make it to the top 10. “At that point, I was nervous and I wasn’t completely sure I would make it because I thought that I played pretty poorly during the scrimmage.” 

Waiting for the announcement of the Jr. NBA Philippine All Star Team was perhaps the most anxiety – inducing moment of all time for the young champs. Cliché as it is, patience is truly a virtue. One by one, the ten spots are getting filled as each champion was called. With the right mix of skills and character, Tyler Tio filled one of those spots. The spot that he truly deserved. He was also awarded as the Alaska Sports Youth Ambassador. 

“I was very thankful! My hardwork paid off,” was his short but well – meant response. 


Living the Jr. NBA Dream 

October 2013 would have been the best month of the year for our young champions. Together with the Jr. NBA team and coaches, the Philippine All Star Team went to live the Jr. NBA dream in the Golden State – California.  Not only that it was a trip, it was also an adventure. The champions had a great time shopping, touring the Universal Studios, playing hoops at the Staples Center, and being up close with the NBA supertars. It was also an opportunity for them to do their part to help when Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers handed a $500,000 check for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

Here, in a nutshell, Tyler shares his experience during their LA trip. 

“We were all excited to see the city. The (LAX) airport was really nice. The day usually starts at around 8 or 9 in the morning, prep up for the day and go for some breakfast. After that we would do the planned activities for the day. One of the highlights of the trip was the visit to the Staples Center. I got to meet NBA superstars like Kobe, Steve Nash, Swaggy P, and Joide Meeks. We also got to shoot around there. It was a really great memory. 

I had a lot of fun hanging around with the team, and I really got the chance to know them on a more personal level. 

The LA trip was fun, and it was a learning experience. I learned how to be more appreciative of what I have in life because not all kids get the chance to go to LA and meet NBA players, and step onto the Staples Center. I was very fortunate for this opportunity. 

Staying in LA felt a lot longer than four days, but at the same time, I wanted it to last longer because I had so much fun. Jr. NBA Philippines opened a lot of doors for me. It definitely made me more confident both as a player and as a person.” 

Finally, Tyler has this to say on basketball, “The best thing about basketball is being part of a team/family. 

And his advice to all aspiring champions, “Live the STAR values (Sportsmanship, Teamwork, positive Attitude, Respect). And lastly – Dream, Believe, Achieve!” 


Congratulations, Champ!


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