PENDLETON — It took Pendleton’s Tyler Newsom a bit longer than others to declare where he was going to play college basketball. He needed to find the right fit.
He made his decision July 1 — his 18th birthday — and announced July 5 that he had signed with Linn-Benton Community College in Albany.
“I like the area and they have a lot of good recruits coming in,” said Newsom, who plans to major in business. “I feel confident in what we are going to do.”
While the 6-foot-4 Newsom played every position on the floor for the Bucks, he said the Roadrunners have plans of playing him at guard or small forward.
“This is a good fit for him,” Pendleton coach Zach Dong said. “His heart was set on getting out of Pendleton and expanding, so to speak. They have a good program and a new coach.”
Joe Schaumburg was hired in April to replace Everett Hartman, who retired at the end of the 2018-19 season. He posted a 51-35 record in three seasons with the Roadrunners.
Newsom made visits to Chemeketa Community College, Mt. Hood Community College, Clark College and Blue Mountain Community College.
“Blue Mountain recruited him pretty hard,” Dong said.
Newsom, who averaged 25.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.84 steals and three assists a game, was named the Intermountain Conference Player of the Year by the conference coaches for the second year in a row.
He also is a two-time East Oregonian Player of the Year, and was named to the 2018-19 5A all-state first team.
Newsom scored 613 points this season, for a 25.5 points per game average. That mark surpasses Spencer Sundin, who averaged 24.5 points a game during the 2008-09 season.
Newsom also ranks second with points in a season for the Bucks, trailing Brycen Bronson, who scored 658 points during the 1998-99 season.
Pendleton advanced to the state tournament this year, finishing 0-2. Newsom earned second-team all-tournament honors.
Newsom finished his high school career last month, playing in the OACA Summer All-Star Game.