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Lyle signs with pro team in Australia

A former Unicoi County High School basketball standout is heading to the Land Down Under to continue his professional basketball career.
Logan Lyle, the all-time boys’ scoring leader for the Blue Devils and recent King University graduate, recently signed to play professionally with the Ringwood Hawks, based out of Melbourne, Austraila. Currently back home for the holidays, Lyle said he’ll begin his career with the Hawks at the start of 2016.
Lyle’s professional career did make a pit stop before heading to Australia. After his record-setting career with the King Tornado, the Unicoi County native’s name was placed in the Premier Basketball League (PBL) draft. Lyle was selected 26th in draft in August to the Lake Michigan Admirals.
While the developmental team spurred the interest of Lyle, the opportunity of a lifetime soon presented itself.
“The team I was drafted to hosts an international tour before the season,” Lyle told The Erwin Record. “We traveled to Europe and Spain for two weeks to play in front of scouts.”
After participating in the journey, Lyle was back working on highlight film when he first caught wind of the Hawks’ interest of his sharpshooting.
“I actually received a message from Facebook by someone from the team,” Lyle said. “They came across my information when I led the nation in most 3-point makes and reached out to me about joining the team.”
Lyle’s prowess on the court was well-represented locally in the high school basketball scene, but it was his time with the Tornado that propelled the local hoop star to his current situation.
The 6’4 shooter has a knack of getting it through the rim. During his senior campaign at King, Lyle worked toward achieving the title as the leading 3-point shoot across all NCAA classifications. At the end of his career, along with numerous individual accolades, Lyle finished fourth in all-time points scored at King.
The addition will bode well for the Hawks, according to head coach Ken Harrington.
“Logan is a great pickup for us,” Harrington said in an article detailing Lyle’s signing on the team’s website. “He is a quality person and will fit right in to our team, structure and our club.”
Ringwood is no slouch on the court. A successful 2015 season saw their lone blemish come during the Big V playoffs, with the team finishing the year at 29-1 overall. Teams are allowed two imports from another nation, and Lyle was able to etch his name on the lineup card for this season.
“When I started playing, I had no idea I would have the opportunity to play professionally,” Lyle said. “It wasn’t until I made it into college that I saw it could be realistic.”
The advice for the next level was also made available to Lyle during his time with King. Former University of Tennessee standout and current Tornado assistant coach Damon Johnson served as a mentor of sorts for Lyle, due to his experience at the professional level, including Johnson’s own successful stint playing overseas.
On Jan. 15, Lyle will embark on something that few are able to participate in. Until that time, the Devils’ Den at UCHS has served as his playground to progress as a player while also playing the waiting game for his airplane ride in 2016.
“I have to thank coach (Michael) Smith at the high school,” Lyle said. “He opened up the gym to me and I’ve been working out to get ready for this season. This has always been a dream … traveling the world and playing basketball.”
While overseas has taken up the forefront of his agenda, Lyle said he would not rule out any potential for a chance to play back in the states if the opportunity arises.
The hardwood hero also gave advice for the upcoming Blue Devils who want to make a career of their own.
“It is a realistic goal,” Lyle said. “Coming from a small town, it can happen. Whether it is college basketball or beyond … just work hard and listen to your coaches and put yourself in the right spot to grow as a player and a person.”