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Marietta High’s Kytta signs to Bethany College

Marietta’s Tyler Kytta, pictured here driving against Meigs in the home opener last season at Sutton Gymnasium, will continue his career on the hardwood for the Bethany College Bison of head coach Mike Worrell. (Photo by Jordan Holland)

MARIETTA — Having an opportunity to play as an incoming freshman was something which definitely piqued Marietta High School senior Tyler Kytta’s interest.

On Wednesday inside Sutton Gymnasium, the Tiger made it official that he’ll continue his career as a student-athlete for the Bethany College Bison of head men’s basketball coach Mike Worrell.

“Their old coach was coaching and I contacted him the summer of my junior year and that’s when I was trying to reach out to colleges near home,” said the A-student, who plans to major in business and product management.

“I sent Mike my tape and he stayed in touch with me throughout the season. I went on two visits. I went on one before classes started in the summer and I went on one here maybe a month, month and a half ago.”

Kytta, who is not quite 6-foot-3 and averaged better than 16 points and nearly seven rebounds an outing, also considered West Liberty and Lake Erie College.

“I was thinking about trying to walk-on at West Liberty, but the playing time I felt like I had the best opportunity to play and that’s the main goal,” admitted the Tiger. “I’ll get the most minutes at Bethany. The coaches were the nicest out of any of them and that was a big deal for us.

“I was really trying to play at Lake Erie College. All my family and grandparents live all around there. I was trying to play there, but I just thought Bethany was the best fit for me and it was close to home. I’ll get plenty of time to come home.”

Recruited as a shooting guard, Kytta is looking forward to the opportunity of getting back to his normal position.

“I had to play the four a lot these past two years because too many guards and everything,” Kytta explained. “I feel like college basketball can help me branch out to what I’m supposed to be playing. I can’t play a forward is college.

“It’s a little bit of a stretch. I’m primarily a shooter. They made me work a lot more for my shots. I had to learn to take it to the hole and be a man down in the paint. I feel like I can do everything really. My ball-handling has gotten a lot better.”

Aside from having one morning class at MHS where he’s a mentor with special needs kids, Kytta is finished with school.

He admitted it was “definitely a relief” to finally find a place to call home after putting so many hours into the sport he loves.

“I have to stay focused in the classroom and that comes first,” he added. “College is going to be a lot different than high school, but I’m most excited about basketball.”

When asked about being a student-athlete at a Division III program that competes in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Kytta replied, “there’s definitely some fears. I’ve never been away from home too much. That’s definitely a worry, but I feel like once I get up there it will be all right.

“As far as being a competitor and basketball, I’m pretty confident with my worth ethic. Making the switch isn’t going to be as hard as I thought it would be. I definitely have the confidence to go out there and play my game.”

Kytta also said one area he knows he must get better at on the court is with his decision making. The three-year starter also knows he has to work on his quickness.

“Thanks to my family and my parents for taking me to every tournament and practice and for picking me up,” said Kytta, who noted senior night was his most memorable experience as a Tiger.

“And a shoutout to my coaches and teammates, our athletic director Cody (Venderlic). They do a lot of work for us. Hopefully, I can go in as a freshman and impact the team right away and help the team win, and see how far basketball can take me.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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