Tyson Jolly Rebounds From Illness, Finds Future In California

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Just over a year ago Putnam City West senior Tyson Jolly and his family couldn't even think this far ahead.

Jolly quickly blossomed on the basketball court, but it nearly all came crashing down after taking a hard fall in a game.

After spending weeks in the hospital doctors discovered seven blood clots on his lungs and told the teen he should have died.

Tyson made the proper changes to his health and returned for his senior season.

Where he kept the attention of college coaches plus his spirits up, and could once again bank his future on hoops.

"Last year I think that was the best thing to ever happen to me," Jolly said in a February interview with KFOR.  "I'm going to do what I've got to do to get where I've got to get and I'm going to stay humble, and pray, and leave everything in God's hands and I'll be alright."

From being monitored in a hospital just this time last year, to signing to play college basketball in a gym full of friends, family and classmates, Tyson Jolly has more than overcome a life-threatening situation from a pulmonary embolism.

He now heads west to play for a rising Cal program next year.

"I mean it's crazy," Jolly said, just minutes after signing his national letter of intent to play basketball at the University of California, Berkeley.  "Especially thinking about it every day like, how I shouldn't have been playing.  How I was told I wasn't going to play.  And now I'm signing to a school in the PAC-12.  It's a blessing."

"I'm holding back tears because I'm excited for him," Tyson's mother, Neoshia Jolly said.  "This journey that he's getting ready to go through is going to be hard.  He may think it's going to be easy, but it's going to be very difficult for him.  I'm excited for him and I love him."

Tyson says he's never been to California before, but he's not nervous.

The Golden Bears already knew Jolly's story, and will have a trainer on hand at all times.

One of the many reasons Berkeley felt so comfortable.

"It makes us feel like, basically like I'm at home right now," Tyson said.  "It might have been the recruiting but I felt like it was just family."

After all he's been through, Tyson's out to show everyone just what he can do.

"There's a lot of people that don't even know who Tyson Jolly is in the state of Oklahoma," Tyson's coach at P.C. West, Lenny Bert said.  "I think they're going to find out and I think that's what he's going to do.  Try to prove people wrong and keep doing what he's doing."

"Just showing everybody I could do it like nothing can stop you if you have your mind made up," Tyson said.  "When you put God first nothing can stop you but yourself."

 

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