Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Tyrone Nesby
Tyrone Nesby shares with Zeke his story of never giving up on a dream or backing down from a challenge. The new head boys basketball coach at Muhlenberg didn’t start playing organized basketball until eighth grade. He began his sophomore season as the last guy on the bench at Cairo (Ill.) High School. Believing that nothing is impossible, a decade later he found himself playing in the NBA -- and as a teammate of Michael Jordan.
It is the same message he conveys to his players at Muhlenberg, a program that went 5-17 last season and has won just six Berks Conference games over the past four seasons. Nesby brings a vast wealth of basketball experience to the Muhls. He played 255 games in the NBA over four seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards, the latter with Jordan. Nesby scored more than 1,000 points in two seasons at UNLV. He has coached AAU teams for the past four years, including his son, Tyrone Nesby IV, who helped lead Reading High to a state championship last season.
“My first NBA game was when I played in the NBA,” Nesby tells Zeke. “I had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as an assistant coach. The guys knew I wanted to be a coach when I got done playing basketball. Every time we went on the road I sat behind Michael Jordan on the plane and on the bus and talked a lot. I took advantage of that.” Nesby tells Zeke that he got to the NBA from being the last guy on his high school bench “with a lot of hard work and dedication. I never stopped learning. It doesn’t matter where you started. It’s all about where you finish.”
When Zeke asks Nesby what his coaching style at Muhlenberg will be, he replies: “We are doing a lot of getting the ball out quicker. X’s and O’s are big to me, I’m all about plays. Different defense principles, I’m big on that. Teaching can overcome some talent gaps. I don’t have to have the best talent in the county, as long as I have kids that at least know the game a little bit. If you want respect, you gotta give respect. Give me some effort, show me that you really want to be here, that’s enough for me. You can work hard all you want to, you gotta work smart. I have been here (Berks County) four years now. I notice a lot of kids coming to my camp; there are a lot of fundamentals not being taught. We do a lot of fundamentals.”
As for his expectations for next season, Nesby replies that “it’s definitely too early to tell. I just told the kids, I do not want to be done in February when our regular season is over.” Nesby encourages his players to play other sports as well. “I tell the kids go play football, go play baseball, I’m OK with that,” he says. “I try to schedule around other sports (in the offseason) so the kids can go play all they want to.”
Watch or Listen to more of our story on Talking Sports and Fitness with Zeke and learn about how we are impacting other small business owners through mentoring and training.