There were plenty of factors surrounding Tyler Jamison’s recent record-breaking performance that made it special.
The Port Huron Northern junior scored 47 points against Troy Athens on Dec. 30, breaking the school’s single-game record, previously held by Northern legend and Jamison family friend Joel Whymer. The game was part of the annual St. Clair County Community College Holiday Showcase, which Whymer’s late father, Jim, played a crucial role in starting.
And all 47 points were absolutely necessary, as they came during a 60-57 win.
“It’s amazing,” Jamison said. “The Whymer family, they’re awesome, top to bottom. I love them all. Mr. Whymer passing away (in September of 2020) was difficult for all of us. To do it like that in a close game that we won, and in that atmosphere at SC4, it was awesome.”
As Jamison nears the midpoint of his junior season, he’s on pace to break more records at Northern and further cement his status as one of the program’s all-time greats. He’s averaging 30.7 points per game in leading the Huskies to a 4-3 start, which puts him on pace to break Whymer’s single-season points record of 623. Through Tuesday night’s win against Utica, Jamison has scored 834 career points, putting him on pace to surpass Whymer’s career total of 1,193, set in 2003.
Collecting records isn’t Jamison’s focus, however.
“I’ve watched his highlights, and he was ridiculous,” Jamison said of Whymer. “I haven’t really thought about it like, ‘Oh, I gotta get this number.’ My goal is to go out and do what it takes to win. Obviously, everyone wants to hold a record, but I’m not going to be out there taking extra shots in garbage time. If it’s going to happen, I want it to happen naturally, because that’s what Joel was doing. He wasn’t chasing points, he was chasing wins.”
Jamison was a varsity starter as a freshman, but he was surrounded by a veteran core that allowed him to ease into his role with the team.
“More than the basketball aspect, those guys were just awesome,” he said. “Every freshman on varsity is going to have ups and downs, and after games, those guys were just awesome to me. It was kind of like a big brother thing. They still text me and ask me how the games are going. And from the basketball aspect of it, I always had guys to lean on.”
In each of the past two seasons, Jamison’s role has grown. The 6-foot-5 guard became the team’s dominant ball-handler as a sophomore, and he’s proven he can do much more than score. He averaged 11.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game a year ago, and he’s once again pulling down nearly 10 rebounds per game this season.
“The mindset is always to be the best basketball player that I can be,” Jamison said. “I don’t think about, ‘Well, my role is this.’ I was just kind of working to be the best basketball player that I can be -- getting shots up, lifting. I’ve been fortunate that I have a lot of good players around me.”
His ability and production have caught the eyes of college scouts, and both Grand Valley State University and Saginaw Valley State University have offered him scholarships.
“It’s been a dream of mine to play college basketball my entire life,” Jamison said. “I’ve been very grateful for all the coaches that have recruited me. It means a lot to me. But I still have a long way to go.”
As Jamison climbs through the Northern record books, he’ll also put himself ahead of his uncles, Matt and Scott, who are among the program’s top all-time scorers. His father, Brian, has been the Northern coach for more than 20 years, and played on the 1990-91 Northern team that advanced to the Class A Quarterfinals – one of two teams in program history to do so.
“I’ve been in this program since, I believe, 1987, and I know so many of the guys that have come through, and (Tyler’s) in that room,” Brian Jamison said. “There have been so many good players here, so many accomplished people. He fits that mold of a great player and a great kid, and that means a lot. It’s been great to see him come through.”
Tyler said making his mark on the program he grew up with has been a dream come true.
“Ever since I’ve been I don’t know how old, I’ve been sitting on the bench, dribbling around and getting everyone waters,” he said. “I remember thinking, ‘I can’t wait until I’m out there. I can’t wait until I’m in the blue and gold.’ It’s something that I really wanted to do, and it’s been great to be able to play with my friends. A lot of the guys on the team, they live in our neighborhood.”
His senior season could include playing with someone who grew up even closer – his younger brother Alex, who is in the eighth grade.
“I think it would be fun,” Tyler said. “I love Alex, and he’s a really good player. I think if I get the opportunity to play with him next year, we’ll make the most of it.”
While Brian Jamison stressed that Alex would have to earn the opportunity to play varsity as a freshman, he is on a path very similar to that of his older brother. Earlier this season, Alex set the Fort Gratiot Middle School record for points in a game at 53, edging his older brother by one. But Tyler is quick to point out one important difference in those games.
“But my team won, and his lost,” Tyler said. “I still say that I have the important record because of that.”
Paul Costanzo served as a sportswriter at The Port Huron Times Herald from 2006-15, including three years as lead sportswriter, and prior to that as sports editor at the Hillsdale Daily News from 2005-06. He can be reached at email@example.com with story ideas for Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Midland and Gladwin counties.
PHOTOS (Top) Port Huron Northern’s Tyler Jamison (32) makes a move toward the basket against Troy Athens on Dec. 30. (Middle) Jamison pulls up for a jumper over a pair of defenders. (Below) The Northern junior dunks for two of his 47 points. (Photos by John Bowns.)