We're all on the same team
Basketball has been a constant in Tyler Houston’s life. The general studies graduate first came to Indiana University Northwest to play basketball and finish his bachelor’s degree after a stint at Prairie State College.
Since attending IU Northwest, Houston has had the opportunity to go to the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Tournament in 2022, as well as build relationships with his fellow teammates.
Ever since he can remember, the sport has been an integral part of his life. “I remember watching a ton of basketball games with my family and even playing basketball games on older game systems,” Houston said. “I’d always hang around my older brother and his friends, who all played sports. I quickly fell in love with the sport after following my brother around.”
Today, Houston is the one inspiring others to get involved in the game he loves. After volunteering at a church, he invited many of the children to shoot hoops and attend games at IU Northwest.
“Volunteering allows me to do something I love, which is give back and help others in my community,” Houston said.
While Houston works to support others, he recognizes the outstanding support his family gave him throughout his life. Between coming to his games and keeping him out of trouble, Houston said he wouldn’t have made it this far without them.
Between work, sports and family, Houston still finds time to be a star student. He’s earned a spot on the Dean’s List several times and succeeded despite the obstacles threatening his progress.
“I struggled with injuries, time management, bills and self-confidence,” he said. “I’ve had my ups and downs but still persevered through it all. I learned a lot about myself and what I want to do in the future.”
Houston said planning was crucial for overcoming the challenges he faced in college. Instead of simply treading water, he chose to keep a schedule, work on his procrastination tendencies and reduce the stress that comes with being a student.
“My mom would always tell me, ‘Plan ahead or you’ll be left behind,’” he remembered. “This advice helped me tremendously. Stay on top of what’s important — your future.”
Over the years, Houston received support from many people and, in turn, offered his support through campus jobs and volunteer work. His story is a reminder whether we’re on the court, in the classroom or volunteering with a nonprofit, we’re all on the same team when it comes to helping each other succeed.