Illinois Basketball: Tyler Underwood returns for sixth year of eligibility

By Zain Bando

It’s not often that a father-son duo sticks together through every moment of college athletics, but for Illinois basketball coach Brad Underwood and son Tyler Underwood, the final chapter has begun.

Because of a medical redshirt during his time at Stephen F. Austin, Tyler Underwood opted to return to the Orange and Blue for his sixth and final year of eligibility, having most recently secured his master’s degree in Recreation, Sport and Tourism in May. Illinois is the third school that Tyler Underwood has attended, having had a stint at Oklahoma State during the 2017-18 season, where he was forced to sit-out due to NCAA transfer rules.

In an interview with The News-Gazette, Brad Underwood chronicled what led to Tyler Underwood’s decision to return to the basketball program, and what it would mean for him and his son.

“Tyler’s doing great,” Brad Underwood said. “He’ll be back next year, and he’s going to be involved and get another master’s degree and I’m excited for him. He’s back working out with the team. He’s not kicking my tail yet on the golf course, so I still let him eat. We’re all in harmony in the Underwood household. It’s a good place right now.”

Tyler Underwood posted a throwback photo, wishing his dad a happy Father’s Day.

Tyler Underwood received a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and was able to contribute on senior night against Iowa in March, as it was his first action as a starter during his career. Tyler Underwood will now embark on his final basketball journey with his dad this winter, as the team hopes to contend for a Big Ten title and NCAA tournament berth in 2021.

Zain Bando

I am an incoming junior majoring in journalism at UIUC. Currently, I work for WPGU as the social media director for Rollin' Illini. Rollin' Illini is the only show that specializes in disability-related sports on-campus. In addition, I work for BTN Student U and Fighting Illini Productions, as well as cover the Illini and mixed martial arts for FanSided Daily as a freelancer. I enjoy storytelling and understanding of different types of perspectives, which is what I hope to gain from a potential career.