VESTAL (WBNG) -- Basketball fans in the Southern Tier may recognize Binghamton basketball player Tyler Bertram from his time playing at Cooperstown High School.
The Cooperstown native returned to his home state this year, transferring to Binghamton University from UNC-Charlotte.
"I thought it would be nice to be able to come back home," said Bertram. "The opportunity presented itself and when an opportunity like that comes up it's hard to pass on that."
Bertram's name is well-known among local basketball fans. He set a number of records at Cooperstown, which includes a school-record 1,897 points. He also led his high school team to back-to-back Section III championships.
Records aside, Bertram said he owes his basketball success to one person.
"It's going to sound weird but it all came from my dad," he said.
Bertram was coached by his father in high school. His dad also played Division 1 college basketball, which made it easy for Bertram to go to him for guidance.
"He taught me what it would take, the work ethic it would take, all of those types of things that would lead me to succeed," said Bertram.
Bertram brought those lessons from Cooperstown to Vestal.
He said Coach Tommy Dempsey was one of the first people to reach out when he entered the transfer portal in March of 2020. That, along with the chance to play close to home was tough to pass up.
"Having that connection with him was really important, and knowing the style of play and the way they like to play," said Bertram. "They like to get up and down and shoot a lot of shots and that's the way I like to play."
The sophomore guard's sharp shooting was out to play last weekend when Binghamton paid a visit to Hartford for a weekend series.
Bertram scored 16 points in the Bearcats loss on Saturday. He followed that performance by putting up a career-high 19 points the following day.
In his last four games, Bertram is averaging 15.5 points on 42% shooting. He's scored in the double figures in five of the first nine games this season, and ranks fourth in the America East in three-pointers.
"This weekend, I kind of came in and the weekend before with an attack mentality and I think that really helped and I just stayed confident," said Bertram.
With a number of tight games behind the Bearcats, Bertram said he can see them making a late run.
"As you can see with our games going on, we're right in the mix," said Bertram. "Our record does not tell what our story has been."
While Bertram is focused on this season, he's excited to bring a spark to this young Bearcats team for years to come.
"Having the opportunity to become a piece of that puzzle where you can have a big role in turning that program around...Everybody loves that type of story and that type of thing," said Bertram. "Having that opportunity to come here and do that, was really exciting."
The Bearcats return home this weekend to host Vermont. Game time Saturday and Sunday is set for 2 p.m.