Herro hopes to motivate Whitnall athletes for 'generations to come'

Tyler Herro is always thinking about the next wave of basketball stars.

But those young athletes stepped aside because it was Herro's turn to be in the spotlight as Whitnall honored its 2018 grad with a jersey retirement ceremony.

"Yeah, I was emotional," said Herro. "Me seeing the video and then, you know, my jersey coming down the banners. It's just a great moment for me to just take it all in and enjoy it. You know, I had a speech thingy, like, prepared, but I forgot everything that I wrote down, so I kind of just freelanced it."

A sold out crowd showed up to watch the Miami Heat guard return home.

They also wanted to see the current Falcons including Herro's younger siblings Myles and Austin, who gave his brother a heads-up of the excitement for the evening.

"I told him that's how much gyms were every night," Herro said. "So he was like, all excited. I'm like, That's how we did it every night. So, you know, just seeing that, I like seeing the gym like that. Like that's a good feeling. You know, the kids had school today and I know they were all looking forward to playing in front of a crowd like that."

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Long before crowds rushed to the Whitnall gym to see Herro, he was sitting in his desk during class dreaming of his future.

But it's not what you might think.

"Being on the varsity team is like my dream," said Herro. "It wasn't the NBA, it wasn't college. It was being on Whitnall's varsity team. And then from there I just continued to get more motivation and more hungry for my ultimate dream of going to the NBA."

Time has flown by for Herro, who in just five years since graduating has gone to the Elite Eight with Kentucky, gone to the NBA Finals, and won the Sixth Man of the Year Award in the NBA with Miami.

"Everything's happened so fast, but I've got a great group around me with a great support system," Herro said. "It keeps me aligned, and I'm able to take care of business and do what I had to do. And, you know, I can't thank them enough."

Herro could not have made this journey without family, friends, teammates and coaches by his side.

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But it all comes back to his motivation and that is the kids looking up to him.

"Just to motivate generations to come after me," said Herro. "I hope there's another jersey that's, you know, gets put up next to mine, you know, at some point."