Every month during the high school basketball season (October – March), we feature an extraordinary high school basketball player and award him or her with the true athelite® of the month award.

Learn more about the award    •    View past award winners    •    Nominate your player


March 2013 Winner – Tyra Buss

Update (March 15, 2014): Last March, Tyra Buss was devastating teams in the playoffs — even with a dislocated shoulder.

Since then, Buss has officially signed on to play with Indiana University and was recently named the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year and Miss Basketball. She also finished first in her class with a 5.0 GPA.

The senior averaged 45.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 6.7 steals per game this season to lead her team to a 27-5 record. She shot 55.4 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from 3-point range, and 81.6 percent from the charity stripe. She set the state record for total points in a career with 4,897, which ranks second in U.S. prep history.

Tyra Buss’ junior year basketball season could have ended with a separated shoulder.

Buss, a point guard at Mt. Carmel High School, suffered the injury against Sullivan in the Class 2A girls basketball sectional tournament semifinals in Illinois.  Feeling the pain — physical discomfort as well as mental anguish with her season hanging in the balance — she popped the shoulder back in herself.

“It just went numb — I couldn’t feel anything,” Buss said.  “I was pretty scared thinking I wasn’t going to be able to play.  But then I came back in the second half and scored 30 of my 48 points.”

Buss’ competitive spirit comes from her family.  Her father, Tim, was All-State in three sports.  Her mother, Kelly, was an All-State track and field athlete.  And her brothers, Tyler and Kyle, played sports at Mt. Carmel.

“I have two older brothers who have helped me pretty much become who I am,” Buss said.  “I’ve always gone out and played with them, and they’d rough me up.  That’s pretty much where I get my toughness and competitiveness from.”

Buss is a four-sport star at Mt. Carmel, excelling in basketball, tennis, track and field, and cross country.  A typical day in Tyra’s life this past fall would involve: going to classes, running at cross country practice, playing tennis, heading to the basketball courts for running and shooting drills, and studying.

Tim Buss said Kelly, who is also the Mt. Carmel track and field coach, guides Tyra in managing her time.  Tyra Buss currently has a 5.0 GPA, which ranks first in her class of 148.

Buss owns a smooth handle and can shoot from anywhere.  In 2013, she scored an Illinois state record 1,285 points (38.9 points per game).  She also drew eight charges, which ranked second in Illinois in 2013.

According to MaxPreps, Buss scored the most points in the nation in 2013.  She has scored 3,431 points in just three seasons and is less than 600 points away from the state record.

Buss has verbally committed to play at Indiana University.  She said she likes the program’s direction under head coach Curt Miller.

“His offense is a high ball screen offense, which is what Tyra loves to do,” Tim Buss said.  “And he’s coached All-American point guards at Bowling Green.  We thought that was fitting because (Tyra) is going to be a point guard at Indiana.”

Tim Buss said a new interstate is being built that will allow the Buss family to trek to Indiana home games in less than two hours.  He said the interstate will get a lot of traffic from Mt. Carmel and surrounding areas since Tyra has attracted such a large following.

Tyra Buss said she does not have a major picked yet but is considering education.  Buss said she was excited to be a Hoosier.

“I want to contribute to what they need, and I want to be a starter,” Buss said.  “That’s one of my main goals.  I want to help win some championships.”