Gateway: Sports

Peninsula guard Spurlock signs with Arizona Christian University

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When choosing where he wanted to play college basketball, the biggest factor for Peninsula High School’s Tyler Spurlock was his Christian faith. So the decision came down San Diego Christian, Northwest Nazarene in Idaho and Arizona Christian University in Glendale (formerly located in Phoenix).

He chose Arizona Christian University.

“The only way I’d go to college is to a Christian school,” Spurlock said. “What goes on in other schools is something I didn’t really want a part of. My grandparents also live down there. I just really enjoyed the coaches, it’s a good Christian environment to grow as a follower of God.”

Another draw: Arizona Christian is getting a new campus this year. The school purchased the Glendale campus that formerly housed an Arizona State University business college in Glendale.

And on the court, Spurlock liked what he saw from the Firestorm, which competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference of NAIA.

“They like to say it’s the hardest league in the national below Division I,” Spurlock said. “It’s a very, very good league.”

Spurlock, who averaged 16.1 points per game for Peninsula in his senior season, projects as a shooting guard at the next level.

“I think it really fits my play style,” he said.

Spurlock is only 17 years old, so he’ll focus on his physical maturation process and building strength early in his college career.

“I know personally that I’m at least one or two years away from really contributing to the team,” he said. “I want to get in the weight room and hope my body will mature. … I’m just looking to get bigger, faster, stronger, just getting plenty of reps up. I feel like there’s nothing I’ve perfected with my game.”

Spurlock said the coaching staff, led by head coach Jeff Rutter, liked his shot mechanics and his scoring ability.

“I chose them because of their development program,” Spurlock said. “I thought of the three schools I was considering, this one would be the best for my overall development, just to become a better overall player.”

Spurlock, who plans to study business at Arizona Christian, said he owes a debt of gratitude to his parents for all they’ve done over the years. His mom, Jennifer, played basketball for Division I Liberty University in the late 1990s.

“She’s one of my biggest coaches and supporters,” Spurlock said. “All the supportive and constructive criticism has made me who I am today. Both of my parents preach that hard work beats everything. They believe hard work can get you anywhere.”

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