Since 2007-2008, former guard Mark Tyndale’s played basketball in Australia and competed in the NBA Development League in Iowa. The Milwaukee Bucks recently waived him from training camp.
For the first time in his life last year, former guard Mark Tyndale found himself away from his family – and Philadelphia – for an extended period of time.
Prior to his four years at Temple, Tyndale attended Frankford and then Simon Gratz High Schools.
But following the 2007-2008 season, Tyndale signed a contract with the Adelaide 36ers in Adelaide, Australia. After their season ended, he played in the National Basketball Association Development League in Des Moines, Iowa.
And from the start of NBA training camp on Sept. 28 until the Milwaukee Bucks placed him on waivers Oct. 1, he made the trek to the Bradley Center’s hardwood floors in downtown Milwaukee.
“I was recruited by a number of colleges [North Carolina State and Syracuse both expressed interest in him before he committed to the Owls], but I chose Temple because it was just down the street from my home,” Tyndale said. “Then I signed with Adelaide and played in the D-League in Iowa last year. For the first time, I was really away from Philadelphia and my family, and I had to adjust.
“But these are stepping stones to the NBA, so I’m going to do whatever I have to do to keep chasing that dream.”
In his four seasons with the Owls, Tyndale finished with a career average of 14.4 points, 3.1 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game. His 1,729 points, 733 rebounds and 377 assists make him the only player in school history to finish in the Top 20 in points and rebounds and in the Top 10 in assists all-time.
After Michigan State ousted the Owls from the NCAA Tournament in 2008, Tyndale accepted Adelaide’s offer. He averaged 13.3 points, 3.9 assists and 7 rebounds in his 10 games with the team.
The 36ers also provided him with a beachfront home in northern Australia and a small car.
“Australia was the best experience,” Tyndale said. “After I got over being away from my family, it was mostly easy to adjust to life there because the people speak English. My only difficulty was remembering to drive on the opposite side of the road.
“But I enjoyed playing in the Midwest, too,” he added. “Everyone – the coaches, the players and especially just people you meet in the city every day – is just tremendously nice.”
Tyndale wrapped up his basketball journey last year with the Iowa Energy, posting 11.1 points per game.
And after his last month in Des Moines, the Bucks guaranteed him a spot on the training camp roster.
That meant that instead of dedicating his entire summer to playing basketball in a summer league, Tyndale could instead take a summer session class at Temple – he remains just two classes shy of graduating and anticipates finishing next semester thanks to courses offered over the Internet – and refine his jump shot with Temple assistant coach Matt Langel.
“Mark told me that the feedback he received from the NBA’s D-League was that he needed to be a consistent jump shooter, so we tried to improve his basic forms and repeat the same motion over and over,” Langel said. “We focused a little less on footwork and more on form. He doesn’t have a conventional shot, and his big hands make it a little more difficult to shoot. I just told him to keep his elbow under the ball and shoot with his legs, simple adjustments that can make the biggest difference when carried over from practice into games.”
Tyndale said the Bucks coaches told him to keep taking and hitting open shots while also staying strong on the defensive side of the ball. Overall, he said, they gave him good reviews before waiving him.
“I didn’t even ask the names of the players I was competing with,” he said. “I don’t want to be rude, but they weren’t even on my mind. What I need to do is to take care of my family. I’ve gotten a couple offers. The Denver Nuggets told me that if I go to the D-League that they’ll call me up after All-Star weekend.
“In the meantime, I’m just going to spend a lot of time in the gym,” Tyndale added. “I’m going to blackout I’m going to work so hard.”
Jennifer Reardon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.