The East Tennessee State basketball team is about to have some brotherly love next season.
Ty Brewer is part of the latest recruiting class, joining his brother Ledarrius on the Bucs roster.
Ty came in from Southeastern Louisiana, where he led his team in scoring (14.9 points per game) and rebounding (7.7). The 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward has two years of eligibility remaining.
When ETSU coach Steve Forbes and his staff began recruiting Ty, they had a pretty good salesman sitting on their bench. Ledarrius Brewer, who had transferred in from Southeast Missouri a year earlier, spent the year sitting out. But he liked what he saw of his teammates, many of whom gave a large part of their credit to Ledarrius for the practice battles they went through while he was on the scout team.
“He told me how they play, how close they are, how they push you,” Ty said. “He honestly sold it to me like there’s nothing better than a program that can push you to be a better person on the court and off the court.”
Ty said he was able to watch about six ETSU games, including the Southern Conference tournament championship win over Wofford.
“They guarded hard and they were just very determined,” Ty said. “I liked that.”
The brothers led Meridian High School in Mississippi to a state championship the last time they played together. They’re hoping for more championships in Johnson City.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for both of us,” Ledarrius said. “We had talked about it multiple times as a family that we would love to play with each other. We’ve been playing together since we were kids. We pretty much know how each other plays.”
Ty chimed in “I was always thinking we would be able to play together again. The opportunity came and I’m really grateful for it. I kind of know what he’s going to do and when he’s going to do it. We’re on the same page.”
The family back home in Mississippi is certainly happy the brothers have been reunited.
“To see their sons play a game together, that’s something they’ve been waiting for a long time,” Ty said.
Under the current NCAA rules, Ty would have to sit out the coming season just like Ledarrius did last year. However, there is a movement in the NCAA to grant players a one-time transfer waiver, allowing them to play immediately. Ty is hoping that rule comes to fruition in time to help him.
“I’m highly anxious,” he said. “Honestly, right now the only thing I can do is take care of all my grades so there shouldn’t anything holding me back on the court.”
Ledarrius sat and watched last season as the Bucs went 30-4 and qualified the the NCAA Tournament that was never played. He said he wasn’t frustrated in not being able to help on game days.
“I would say it wasn’t difficult at all,” he said. “Coming into a winning program like that, it was a pretty fun experience. You can see those guys that you compete against every day in practice go out and win and give it their all. I’m excited to get on the court and produce like they did.”
Even though he didn’t play, Ledarrius said he learned the value of hard work in his first year with the ETSU program.
“This is the first program that I’ve ever been in where I had to work my hardest every day,” he said. “I just give it up to Coach Forbes for being able to push me to that next level.”
What advice did Ledarrius offer Ty about coming to join the Bucs?
“I told him he has to be prepared every day,” Ledarrius said. “Every day is a task. Come prepared every day. That’s it.”