OGALLALA, Neb. (KNOP) - The first Friday Night Sports hero of the 2018-19 winter season is Jeron Tuttle.
Tuttle is a senior guard on the undefeated Ogallala Indians.
"Jeron's just one of those guys that whatever it takes and whatever you need, he's the kind of guy that's gonna put in that work, so we're just extremely pleased with his efforts to this point," said. Andy Gillen, Ogallala's head coach.
Tuttle was a starter for the team last season, but at the beginning of the season, Gillen approached him about coming off the bench. Gillen says Tuttle had no problem with it.
"We didn't hear a blip from him when we asked him to come off the bench this year, it was just whatever you need. The big thing is every day in practice; every drill, every rep, every day, he goes all out, he works extremely hard, and he's just a great teammate," Gillen said.
"I was all for it, I'm just looking to do whatever coach wants, and whatever the team needs, as long as we win," Tuttle said about coming off the bench.
Tuttle says he has played basketball since he was ten years old, but he has enjoyed it his whole life. His favorite team is the Boston Celtics, and his favorite players is Kyrie Irving. He also enjoys watching college basketball, and while he doesn't necessarily have a favorite team, he enjoys watching the Duke Blue Devils.
Tuttle likes to describe his play style as "smooth," saying he tries to be "as smooth as possible with the ball."
Trey Rezac is also a senior guard on Ogallala, and he and Tuttle are good friends.
"Jeron and I have been good buddies for years, ever since I moved here, he was one of my first friends and now he's one of my best friends and we hang out all the time," Rezac said.
When Rezac was asked what teams fear about Tuttle coming off the bench, he joked, "Probably his looks," but added, "probably his defensive side, he plays good defense."
Gillen also praised Tuttle's defense.
"The biggest thing would be, whoever he's guarding is going to feel pressure all the time. He does a great job of helping when we get beat, and recovering to his guy. He's just one of those players that when you have the ball, he's going to make you feel uncomfortable all the time, and offensively he's sneaky," Gillen said.
Tuttle doesn't mind coming off the bench, he enjoys being a spark when the team needs it.
"I like bringing a lot of energy on the bench and in game, just celebrating the team as much as I can," Tuttle said.
Rezac agrees that Tuttle is a spark coming off the bench, saying, "We all love him, and for the game of basketball, he brings a spark off the bench, and just comes in and does his job."
Tuttle is a quiet kid, but Gillen has noticed he has become for outgoing as the season has progressed.
"Probably the first two weeks I knew Jeron, I didn't know if he spoke English or not, because he's just an extremely quiet kid. But the longer we've been around him and the more we've gotten to build that relationship, extremely intelligent young man, he's got a great sense of humor. He's a great kid, and he's great to have around," Gillen said.