When asked what his favorite moment as a member of the Stony Brook men’s basketball team has been, senior forward Tyrell Sturdivant chuckled.
“It’s cliché, but winning the conference tournament,” Sturdivant said. “That’ll be one of the best memories of my lifetime. That can never be taken away from us, and it’s just something we worked so hard for.”
Then a sophomore, Sturdivant was still developing as a role player off the bench on the team that brought Stony Brook its first America East Conference Championship. Now, as a senior, he’s looking to take the reins and lead his team back to a conference title.
“Just want to get back to winning, going deep into the conference tournament,” Sturdivant said about his expectations for the season. “Our main goal every season is to win the conference championship.”
Sturdivant is a key piece of the Seawolves’ offensive game plan. He led the team in rebounding last season and was second on the team in points per game.
Sturdivant’s skillset was on display in the Seawolves’ first game of the season, a Nov. 10 match-up against the Maryland Terrapins. He led all players with 17 points in 30 minutes, and recorded three rebounds and one assist. He also showcased an ability to shoot from deep, connecting on three of 10 attempts from beyond the three-point arc.
One of the major improvements he’s still looking to make, however, revolves around helping his teammates.
“Really [working on] my feel for the game,” Sturdivant said. “I also had, I think I was top three or four on the team in turnovers. Just making the right play, the right pass. That’s something I’ve really been working on, even if it means less shots, less touches. Just making the right play.”
His effort in helping his teammates has also gotten the attention of his coach.
“Part of the biggest thing I’ve seen out of Ty is his growth in his leadership,” head coach Jeff Boals said. “He kind of took it upon himself to become that leader, and as a senior you would expect that and hope that out of a guy like him. Really pleased with where he’s at right now.”
Boals also said Sturdivant’s leadership extends beyond his work during game time. He’s taken the underclassmen under his wing, showing them how to practice effectively, establish a work ethic and go through the preparations necessary for their next game.
“A lot of times it’s difficult when you have guys coming in, to help them out, cause you want to do what’s best for you,” Boals said. “But Ty’s a team player, he’s all about what’s best for the team. Just showing them how to be a pro’s pro every day.”
One of his former teammates, Jameel Warney, now a member of the Texas Legends, stays in touch with Sturdivant and trains with him. Warney said the work that Sturdivant has put in since he was a freshman has paid off.
“He’s already had all the skills, he’s just put it all together,” Warney said. “He’s got confidence. Ty’s on a mission to get them back to a conference championship, and I wish the best of luck to him.”
This is not Sturdivant’s first time in a leadership position. He captained his Chester High School basketball team to the final four of the state championship, and is now poised to handle the task at the collegiate level.
“It’s been an easy adjustment, honestly,” Sturdivant said. “I think the biggest difference is just, every day being the voice and the energy. I love to come out and compete every day, so it’s been an easy adjustment.”
Sturdivant described the joy of winning that first championship at Stony Brook as “an amazing feeling.” But it remains to be seen what a second championship at Stony Brook would feel like, but if the Seawolves were to capture one, it would be on the back of Sturdivant’s leadership.