BILLINGS — As one door closes, another opens.
Cade Tyson is putting the finishing touches on his basketball career at Rocky Mountain College while younger brother Cooper wraps up his time at Billings West as a Golden Bear, though college basketball likely awaits him, as well.
“For me, one thing that’s been really cool is seeing him and Ben Erbacher. Josh Erbacher was one of my good friends and played (at West)," Cade said. "Last year at state we were able to watch together most of those games and sit next to each other, talk and mostly just enjoy watching Cooper and Ben play and that’s really special.”
“Growing up, I would always play up. My dad would give me a chance to play on (Cade’s) team and they’re four years older than me," Cooper said. "I’d maybe get in with five minutes left in the game if they were blowing a team out, and I loved it. I was four years younger than all these kids and getting to go play. Growing up, being pushed my older dudes is something I think has helped me a lot.”
The two didn’t get to play together at West as they’re separated by four years, but Cade gave Cooper a blueprint on how to get to the next level, even though their games are quite different.
“I think the contrast in our games is funny. (Cooper) is more above the rim. He still shoots it well but more attacks the hoop, above the rim, like I said. I’m kind of below the rim primarily, shooting it and dispersing. I think the biggest area that our games are similar would be in passing. I think that comes from our dad playing 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 games. You kind of learn the right way to play the game," said Cade.
While Cooper is bigger and taller than Cade, he admits he’s still not quite ready to take down big brother. Maybe it’s the flashbacks to their childhood that give him pause.
“He’s way bigger than me to be honest. I’m not playing with him. I’m not messing with him. I look bigger, but I don’t know if I want to mess with him," Cooper said.
“We haven’t really played 1-on-1. We don’t really do that. Maybe that’s me defending my ego. We had a stand-up mini-hoop downstairs. I would have friends come over and we would play 2-on-1, me and my friend versus Cooper," Cade said.
“Oh yeah, I would get picked on. That wasn't cool," said Cooper.
“We would be throwing lobs and trying to dunk on him, which looking back isn’t great but that was always fun and Cooper was always a good sport and embraced that challenge," Cade said.
Life can come at you fast when you’re the younger brother.