Relationships with coach, father bring Cox to BSU

For most student athletes, having his mom and dad at a home game can be difficult. But for Kyle Cox of the men's basketball team, his father not only attends games, he comes to practice too.

Kyle, one of the three freshman on this year's squad is the son of the team's associate athletics trainer, Tony Cox. Tony has been involved with the team for 20 years.

"At first I thought it wasn't going to be as smooth as it has," Kyle said about sharing the bench with his father. "I thought he might be on the critical side a little more, but he has become my avenue to channel my frustrations about practice.

"He's been a great listener and a great shoulder to lean on. He still takes care of me as a dad."

Make no mistake, having his father work for the team had little to do with him being given a spot to play. Kyle earned his spot for Ball State.

As a senior at Blue River High School, the six foot guard averaged 27.1 points and six assists a game. On top of averaging nearly 30 points a game, he also ranks 38th all-time in Indiana high school basketball history for career points with 1,987. He also established a national high school record for career free-throw percentage averaging a little more than 92 percent for his career.

According to the freshman, after turning down a scholarship offer from Utah, Kyle discussed that it was more than his father's correlation with the team that drew him to Ball State. In actuality, it was head coach Tim Buckley that Kyle wanted to play for the most.

"Coach Buckley is a coach, who when an assistant here, I got to be very good friends with him," Kyle said. "I wanted to play for him where ever he was."

Buckley shared the same type of admiration for Kyle.

"I think Kyle has been soaking it all in every since his dad started working here," Buckley said. "He's one of those guys that has been more mature beyond his years.

"He has a great grasp of the game and he understands the level that we're at. And, he's a competitor. He want's to be good in everything he does whether it's athletically, socially or academically."

Kyle has played in all five games for Ball State so far coming off the bench in the point guard slot.

With some play under his belt, Kyle realizes there is a bit more to worry about on a collegiate level compared to high school play.

"Now I have a lot more responsibilities," Kyle said. "I have to watch the shot clock, getting back on defense, getting everyone in their spots, knowing everyone else's spots. I'm learning that to play at this level and be good at this level, you have to be focused and you have to have a tough demeanor.

Aside from basketball there is another side to Kyle, but it remains in the world of sports.

Ball State head golf coach, Mike Fleck also offered Kyle a spot on the men's golf team. Kyle accepted, but for now, the pre-med majoring guard continues to focus on basketball.

"I didn't want to neglect anything with basketball," Kyle said. "It's too high of a competitive game and we just want to be too good to have one guy not putting in 110 percent. I didn't want to be that one guy."


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