By T. Daniel Lancaster
On Thursday night, a young man from our community showed that when you do things the right way, good things happen. He showed us that you work harder than the next guy, it pays off, — and when you face challenges, you can either stop short and quit, or you can find a way to overcome them and succeed.
Washington resident Tyler Zeller was picked with the 17th pick of the NBA draft on Thursday, and from this point on, he will be able to say that he was the top senior basketball player in the nation in 2012.
Tyler has succeeded both on the court and in the classroom, and if past is prologue, then it is very likely he will also succeed in the NBA.
The funny thing is, we have always known that moment would come for him, that moment where he would be handed that invitation to truly test himself against the best in the world.
Tyler could have found any reason to stop short of reaching his goals. He could have rested on his laurels as a high school champion. He could have said it was too hard to be in his older brother's shadow and we would have probably given him a pass. He could have said that it was too hard to compete with world-class talent he faced every day at North Carolina for four years. He could have pointed to the serious injuries he had suffered from at UNC and used them as an excuse not to succeed.
He never did any of those things.
Instead, he overcame every challenge and roadblock and made himself one of the best collegiate basketball players in the nation. On Thursday the sports world was reminded just how good he is.
We at the Times Herald are proud to have gotten to know Tyler and his family over the last decade. They have always handled themselves with class and dignity. No one will know how hard he has worked, except them, and this honor truly belongs to them as a family. But we as a community also feel a lot of pride in his accolades and accomplishments. Ultimately he will always be one of us.
We wish Tyler luck and success for the future, however, anyone who knows Tyler, knows he makes own luck — through dedication and hard work.