SPIRE Academy guard Tyshawn Archie, a 2023 James Madison signee, is a dynamic athlete who excels in the open floor and uses his advanced body control and acceleration to get into the teeth of the defense and make plays.
Recently, Archie spent time with Pro Insight’s David Hendren after showing out at a recent event where we saw him live. When learning Archie’s story, resiliency is something that shines through. In this interview, he recounts moving away from his family in Texas to pursue his dream, receiving his first offer last summer, his decision to sign with James Madison, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A Series, we present class of 2023 prospect Tyshawn Archie, from Houston, Texas:
Pro Insight: Give us some background — how long have you been playing basketball and when did you start taking it seriously?
Tyshawn Archie: I started taking basketball seriously in the 7th grade after I got done playing football that year.
PI: What position(s) did you play in football?
TA: I played quarterback and wide receiver. I enjoyed playing wide receiver because it improved my footwork, which helps with basketball.
PI: What would you say made you fall in love with basketball?
TA: My dad was my coach and I played a lot of games locally when I was younger. Just being around the game and playing a lot of games made me fall in love with the game.
PI: Can you talk a little bit about your upbringing in Texas?
TA: I’m originally from Huntsville, Texas. I moved to Houston when I was in 7th grade. I really liked it and have been to a few different areas in Houston. Also, my mom’s side of the family is from Huntsville and my dad’s side is from Nacogdoches.
PI: Any other family members play sports at a high level?
TA: None of them played at the college level.
PI: When did you realize you could possibly get to that next level and earn a college scholarship?
TA: My sophomore summer going into my junior year I realized I could go to college due to basketball. I was playing with Team Temple and we played in Kentucky at a big tournament and I played well against some high level talent.
PI: What was your experience like playing with the ProSkills Nike EYBL program?
TA: Everything got faster on the EYBL circuit. There is a lot of talent out there so I had to bring my game with me everywhere I went. It was really about consistency.
PI: How do you feel you grew as a player playing with ProSkills?
TA: My coach really sped up my game a lot. I was making quicker decisions and ProSkills really made me become an all-around point guard.
PI: What are the most important things you learned while playing with ProSkills?
TA: To play faster and since we played with a shot-clock, I didn’t want to waste any time.
PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?
TA: My favorite player is Kyrie Irving, but a lot of people say I play like Ja Morant. I try to model my game after Kyrie for the most part.
PI: How do you feel he will mesh alongside Luka in Dallas?
TA: I like him and Luka together; I think that will work out.
PI: Would you say you watch more NBA or college basketball?
TA: I like watching both, but if I had to choose, I would pick the NBA.
PI: Why’s that?
TA: They run a lot of quick sets to get quick baskets. I like the tempo of the NBA.
PI: Talk us through your decision to transfer to SPIRE Academy.
TA: I wanted to play against high-level competition and a national schedule. In Houston, it wasn’t going to be the same as it was playing at SPIRE. We are playing in different states every weekend.
PI: How has it been being away from your family to pursue basketball?
TA: Since I was in Houston and ProSkills was based in Dallas, I used to have to fly out to Dallas for a couple weeks. I got used to it after moving to Ohio.
PI: So would you say it was a pretty seamless transition moving to SPIRE then?
TA: Yes, but I do go home a lot. I go home about once or twice a month.
PI: What advice would you give to someone before making a decision to transfer away from home?
TA: You will have to prepare to be by yourself more. That’s what I had to go through.
PI: What stood out most about SPIRE?
TA: SPIRE is a normal school and I really like how their basketball schedules are set up.
PI: What are your goals at SPIRE Academy for the rest of this season?
TA: I really want to beat some of the top teams we play coming up. I really want to play against this high level competition and win big games. I want to keep elevating myself and get ready for James Madison, as well.
PI: What have you learned so far during your experience at SPIRE?
TA: Physically, the weight room has helped me a lot, especially in terms of my jumping. The coaches have helped me out mentally, especially making adjustments on defense and making the right reads offensively.
PI: What stood out about James Madison and led you to signing with the Dukes?
TA: I liked the campus and all the coaches; they told me what it was and what it wasn’t. Coach Byington was really cool with me and welcomed me with open arms. He even let me in his house and I felt like I was apart of the team already. I felt that I fit right in after the visit.
PI: What was their message to you throughout the recruiting process?
TA: They want to help me elevate myself and they said I was going to play as a freshman, which is one of the things I was looking for from a school that was recruiting me.
PI: What are your thoughts on Coach Byington and his coaching style?
TA: He lets his point guards play their game. They get to play freely as long as they play defense. It’s a fast-paced squad and they run in transition, which I really like.
PI: In your own words, what are you bringing to the program?
TA: I’m different from the guards they have right now. Sometimes I’m a little flashy and I don’t think people from James Madison have seen a point guard that can do what I can do yet.
PI: How do you envision your role with James Madison?
TA: I want to earn my stripes and be a leader.
PI: Who has been the toughest individual matchup you’ve ever faced?
TA: I would say Caleb Foster. I got to play him twice playing on the EYBL circuit and he gave us thirty both times.
PI: What made Caleb Foster such a difficult matchup?
TA: He was in attack mode the whole time and never got out of that mode. He just kept scoring.
PI: What is your favorite basketball memory?
TA: The game I played recently down in Kentucky in the Play by Play Classic, where I hit my first buzzer-beater.
PI: What do you enjoy doing off the court?
TA: I’m either somewhere hanging out with one of my friends or I’m playing video games like 2K or Fortnite. I just try to have fun.
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
TA: I probably would’ve been an entrepreneur but I also like fashion a lot.
PI: So it’s safe to say you’re the best dressed on your team?
TA: I would say Xavier Tubbs-Matthews has the most swag and is best dressed, too. He has all the clothes.
PI: What are your favorite shoes to hoop in?
TA: I would say my Kyries..
PI: How about to just walk around in?
TA: I would go with my Foam Runners. I have the cream clay Foam Runners.
PI: Favorite subject / classes in school?
TA: I would say English; I like writing essays.
PI: Do you have any idea what you’d like to major in at JMU?
TA: I haven’t finalized what I’m going to major in, yet.
PI: What is your favorite pre-game meal?
TA: I like to eat Chick-fil-A or Chipotle before games. I get the spicy deluxe from Chick-fil-A or a burrito from Chipotle.
PI: Do you have any pre-game rituals or hype music?
TA: Music is a big thing for me; it helps me lock in. I listen to a lot of music before games. I also do a couple different stretches with one of my coaches, as well.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
TA: I listen to mainly rap. I like all genres, but my favorite artists are NBA Youngboy and 21 Savage. I want to listen to someone that can get me hyped.
PI: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
TA: Big shorts are my biggest peeve. Anything below my knees I don’t like.
PI: What is some of the best advice you have received?
TA: My dad just always told me to keep going. I didn’t get recruited until this past summer so he just told me to keep pushing. I didn’t believe in myself until I got my first offer but he told me to keep my foot on the pedal.
PI: What’s something about you that most people have no idea about?TA: That I’m left-handed. Everyone assumes that I am right-handed if they don’t know who I am.
PI: Five years from now, where do you see yourself?TA: Probably somewhere playing pro basketball.
PI: At the end of the day, what are you hoping to be remembered for?
TA: I want people to remember me for trying my hardest in everything I do.