Tyler Vavrina is a multi-sport athlete who rarely slows down long enough to smell the roses. He clearly enjoys competition, and now he gets to continue his favorite sport, basketball, at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.

In December, Tyler Vavrina paused long enough to sign with Morningside College to continue his favorite sport and prepare for his future in agriculture.

“It felt right walking around Morningside campus,” said Vavrina, one of the most prolific scorers the Monarchs have had on the court in recent years.

“It was the best fit for me wanting to go into Agriculture and Morningside being one of the few colleges to have an agriculture department. My major is called agriculture and food studies but I plan to minor in agronomy and agribusiness. The basketball ball program has a great tradition of hard work and excellence,” he said.

He’s excited to join a team that is seeing its hard work pay off.

“The Great Plains Athletic Conference is a tough conference to be in. Morningside just got first in the regular season for the GPAC, which gives them an automatic bid into the NAIA National Tournament,” he said. “

Vavrina said he’s likely to play guard, a position he has excelled at for Aquinas.

This season, he became the fourth player at Aquinas to surpass the 1,000-point mark in a 28-point performance against Lincoln Christian.

Vavrina will join a team with a winning tradition.

Since taking over in 2003-04, coach Jim Sykes has a career record of 277-151 for a .647 winning percentage for the most victories and the highest victory rate in school history. He has led the Mustangs to 11 winning seasons in the last 14 years, including seven 20-win campaigns, five NAIA Division II National Tournament berths, four Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) regular season championships, and two GPAC Post-Season Tournament championships.

"We are thrilled to have Tyler join our program," Sykes said. "We have him playing a guard position and believe he is able to guard multiple positions. He has a very good basketball IQ and comes from a great family. What he does on the court got our attention and what he does off the court is what kept our attention."

Sykes said Vavrina will represent the program at a high level on and off the court."

"He is a multi sport athlete which we like, and the nice thing about that is when he puts his full attention on basketball the sky is the limit as far as results," Sykes said.