MEDINA — Tyler Peters just wanted one more year to play the game he loves.
So after highly successful stints at Medina High and Division III Wheaton College in Illinois, Peters hit the road and played in a handful of showcases in front of pro basketball scouts and agents.
That led to an opportunity to continue his career overseas, as the former Gazette MVP signed a contract this month to play in Sweden for Jämtland Basket of Ligan.
“It’s definitely a dream come true,” he said. “Just the opportunity to keep playing the game I love is a true blessing. I’m real excited to play for another year.”
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Peters, who got engaged to Leah DeMoss on Friday, inked a one-year deal with the club located in Östersund, Sweden. Jamtland lost to eventual champion Södertälje Kings in the quarterfinals.
After wrapping up his senior season at Wheaton, where he was named to a pair of D-III All-America teams and was D3hoops.com’s Midwest Region Player of the Year, Peters headed to Virginia to play in a showcase to get noticed.
He got noticed, all right. After signing with an agent, Peters had two workouts with the Indiana Pacers.
“It was a great opportunity to work out in front of those scouts,” Peters said. “There was a lot of D-I guys and, coming from D-III, we don’t get a lot of respect. But I went in with nothing to lose.”
Peters, who averaged 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists while leading Wheaton to the D-III Sweet 16, will leave Sept. 1 with the goal of making the team on Oct. 15.
It will be just the second time he has ventured out of the country, as he joined his Wheaton teammates on a mission trip to India a year ago.
The subarctic climate in one of the inner-most cities of Sweden shouldn’t be too different than the winters of Northeast Ohio and Chicago.
“This will be a totally new experience,” Peters said. “I’m real excited about it. It’s a chance to experience different cultures.”
Peters found himself to be more marketable than he thought, as his size gives him the ability to play a variety of positions besides point guard, which he played all four years of college. He has worked all offseason to improve his perimeter scoring, along with working on some post moves to make him even more versatile.
“A lot of people remember me from my Medina days when I was 5-10 and maybe 120 pounds,” Peters said with a laugh. “It helps now being 6-4 and able to play different positions. It’s an exciting opportunity.
“I’ve watched a lot of international basketball and it’s pretty fast-paced. If you’re a guard over there, you better be able to shoot and play off the pick and roll. Those are two things that I’ve worked on a lot this offseason.”
One thing is for sure: Peters is happy to be back playing the game that has made him who he is today.
“I just wanted to get my foot in the door,” he said. “Now that I’ve got this, hopefully I can establish myself and move up. I’m just real excited to get a chance to play another year.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.