(CSTV U-WIRE) LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Tyrel Reed is a household name in Burlington, Kan.
As a four-time all-state selection and 2006-07 Gatorade Player of The Year, Reed warranted a lot of attention from folks at Burlington High School. For Reed, joining the Kansas men's basketball team is the culmination of a lifelong dream to become a Jayhawk.
Like many children who grew up in Kansas, Reed followed the Jayhawks and attended basketball camps every year in Lawrence. These days, Reed is the one helping with coach Bill Self's camp during the summer.
"During the scrimmage of coach's camp it kind of hit me," Reed said. "I looked up at all the campers watching us and I realized I'd made it."
The spotlight being cast upon Reed isn't a new situation for the freshman. He was touted as the 14th-best point guard in the country coming out of Burlington High School, according to Rivals.com. He received recruiting interest from Georgia Tech, Stanford, Missouri and Kansas State. He also was recruited by former Kansas coach Roy Williams at North Carolina, who ran some of the camps Reed attended while growing up. Ultimately, Reed said the tradition and excitement that surrounded Kansas basketball made his decision easier.
"I grew up around here. I've sat in those stands and watched the games," Reed said. "The other programs were great schools, but Kansas was the best place for me."
Reed said he was excited about playing for Self, who visited him numerous times during the past three years of the recruiting process. He said the coach expected him to bring leadership to the team.
"I could be considered a gym rat. Since my dad was my coach growing up, I always had access to a gym," Reed said. "Coach Self wants me to get my teammates in to play pick-up as much as possible."
Reed said he spent about five hours on basketball-related activities each day during the summer, divided between the weight room, conditioning in the morning and scrimmaging with teammates in the evening. He said that when he wasn't working on basketball, he was adjusting to dorm life, as he moved into the Jayhawker Towers with his roommate and fellow freshman Cole Aldrich.
"Cole got a new flat screen TV but we can't seem to get the cable to come in right," Reed said. "At least I can play 'Halo 2.' I play that video game a lot."
When asked about being ribbed by some of the older players on the team, Reed laughed and said everyone liked to clown around. He mentioned one specific instance when Darrell "Shady" Arthur pranked him.
"The other day Shady randomly nailed me with a water balloon," Reed said. "It's okay though, I already feel like I mesh well with the team, so it's fun to joke around sometimes."
Reed said that students should feel free to welcome him to campus any time they see him because he loves talking to people.
"I like to meet new people. It's cool to think that more people will know me since I play basketball here," Reed said. "More importantly though, I'm not going to get a big head. I feel that if you are nice to everyone, hopefully they will be nice to you."