Jerome Dyson Feeling The Comforts Of Home
Tulsa, Okla. • Oct. 17, 2011
Jerome Dyson entered familiar territory this week when he arrived at the Tulsa Convention Center for the USA Pan American Games training camp. The downtown gym was home for Dyson and the NBA D-League’s Tulsa 66ers last season. And not only was the hardwood easily recognizable for the guard, but so were the shouts coming from USA and Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts and assistants Dale Osbourne and Jermaine Byrd.
Dyson averaged a team-high 15.5. points in 47 games (10 starts) for Tulsa 66ers last season under the direction of second year coach Tibbetts. Tibbetts and his staff were selected last spring to lead the USA squad in the 2011 Pan American Games played later this month in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“It helps a lot having the Tulsa staff here in charge of the USA team,” Dyson said. “Coach Tibbetts knows how I play and he knows what I am capable of doing. Out here, we are running some of the same plays that I am comfortable with. It helps having someone who knows you out there on the floor.”
As for the opportunity, Dyson knows the honor and challenge that comes with wearing the USA jersey.
“It means a lot because a lot of people don’t get this opportunity,” Dyson said. “Coach Tibbetts told us in a team meeting that this opportunity has passed a lot of people by. This is our chance to represent our country, and it means a lot.”
Tibbetts agrees that his familiarity with Dyson, and vice-versa, has been beneficial during training camp.
“The comfort level helps him a lot,” Tibbetts said. “All of the plays that we are talking about, especially defensively, are not new to him. He knows what we are about and what our expectations are. That makes it easier for him and us. Being around us and being comfortable with us is huge.”
Dyson said he spent the offseason trying to become a better point guard.
“I transitioned into the point guard position halfway through the year last year so I am still learning,” he said. “That is something teams want me to be more comfortable with. I have been trying to be more of a well-rounded point guard.”
Offense is not the only aspect of Dyson’s game that is standing out to Tibbetts, however.
“I think when it comes to guarding the basketball, he is a premier on-the-ball defender,” Tibbetts said. “Offensively, I think he has another gear. He can create his own shot which is something that we need. He can get to the rim and he can get fouled. That is a great asset.”
Dyson understands that playing his game and staying within himself is vital to being successful for the USA team.
“What you do out there will speak for you,” Dyson said. “If you go out there and try to over think everything or make the best play or the best pass, you might not play well. You have to go out there and play your game.”
Dyson said he will focus hard on competing every possession and doing what it takes for the team to be successful.
“It is a great opportunity for everybody on the team,” Dyson said. “These guys out here will always carry the pride that we were representing our country.”