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Lyle ends career at King, hopes to play overseas

As one chapter closes, another chapter begins for Logan Lyle’s story on the hardwood.
Lyle represented his Blue Nation family at the collegiate level after his basketball career at Unicoi County High School ended in 2011.
The former Blue Devil recently graduated from King University and now has his sights set for the next level of competition.
“As of now, it is my goal to continue playing,” Lyle said in a recent interview with The Erwin Record. “I’m actually hoping to join a tour with a team that goes overseas to gain some exposure and hopefully get signed by a team. It was always a goal of mine and I think there is no better time to pursue it than now; the real world can wait a while longer, I hope.”
From his youth to now, the love of the sport just came natural for Lyle in the Valley Beautiful.
His basketball prowess was well-documented throughout his time at UCHS. Confidence instilled from the coaching staff bred success, according to Lyle.
“High school was very good to me,” he said. “Thanks to the coaching staff that had the confidence in me to go out there and perform. Their trust in me allowed me to grow and mature greatly from a young age and earn some success.”
Lyle finished up his career at UCHS as the school’s all-time leading scorer. While the individual accolades are nice, Logan added, it was all about the team.
“Being the all-time leader scorer at my high school is probably one of my most treasured accomplishments as a player,” he said. “I only wish we could have made the run in the state tournament for our great group of guys each year.”
The drive from coming up just one game shy of a trip to Murfreesboro fueled his freshman campaign at King, Lyle added.
“It sort of drove my competitiveness my freshman year at King,” he said. “I wanted something more than just in the state, I wanted something nationally.”
It would come in time. With the experience as a three-year starter at UCHS, Lyle took the way of any other underclassmen coming through the college ranks.
“I can’t say I was disappointed at all when I came to King,” Lyle said. “Coach (George) Pitts is one of the fairest coaches out there. When the season began and I didn’t start, even though I hadn’t been use to it, it really taught me patience and that my chance would come.”
That moment would come earlier than expected in his first year with the Tornadoes.
“About midway through the season, we had a couple of injuries which led to me becoming a starter,” Lyle said. “We had a great group of guys who were supportive and tough on me to step up and take on the challenge.”
During the 2011-12 season, when Lyle became a full-fledged cog in Coach Pitts’ machine, King was able to churn out one of their best years. The Tornadoes finished the year 23-8 and won the Conference Carolinas regular season title during the school’s first year in NCAA Division II. Also in their first year in the new division, the Tornadoes punched their ticket to the national tournament.
“It was nothing short of a dream come true,” Lyle said. “Coach Pitts’ style of play involves a lot of substitutions. One of the most important things I learned that year was to persevere, be patient, do the best I could and be OK with the results.”
Success in the first year didn’t come without struggles. Lyle added there was a little bit of pressure going from Erwin to Bristol
“I think it may have added a little,” he said about pressure from his high school career transferring over to the college realm. “You know after you sign to go play college ball and you had a successful career in high school, everyone wants to hear the good news. You want to be able to come back and say ‘yeah I’m starting … this and that …’ but I wasn’t.
“I wasn’t doing bad, but I wanted to be able to say those things, too. I think a little pressure may have been added to that but it didn’t make me selfish. I had faith in where I was as a player and I remained patient and I think that allowed me to do a lot with my career.”
Patience was indeed a virtue for the then-underclassman. A snowball effect continued each year for Lyle and the rest of his King teammates. The sophomore and junior years included success for the former Blue Devil, including back-to-back second-team All-Conference Carolinas honors, but it was a busy senior year that stole the show.
King wrapped up this past season with 24-6 record overall. Lyle was able to enjoy the team’s success and as well as personally by becoming the then-active leader in three-point shots made in the NCAA – in all divisions.
Lyle’s name is permanently ingrained in the history books of the NCAA. After a busy career across the country, Lyle sits sixth overall with 108 shots made.
“One of the coolest moments of college ball was when Nathanael Hughes read off Twitter, from our sports information guys, that I was the active leader in three-point shots made out of all the NCAA,” Lyle said. “I was in awe and didn’t believe it for a long time.”
The awe wore away but the accomplishment wasn’t just an individual one, according to Lyle.
“It is selfish to think I did any of it on my own,” he said. “I have many people to thank for all of that, obvious ones are my teammates and coaches, but I’m so blessed by for God giving me the ability and having such incredible support from close family and friends that would never miss a game.”