Cole will continue basketball career at Berea College


Harlan County High School senior Tyler Cole signed recently with Berea College to continue his basketball career. Cole is pictured with his parents, Jeff and Ashley, and his brother, Trenton.

A district tournament most valuable player and 1,000-point scorer who helped lead Harlan County to the 13th Region finals a year ago, senior guard Tyler Cole is ready to move to the next level.
Cole, a three-year starter who finished with 1,091 career points, signed with Berea College earlier this week.
“I really like Berea because the campus was really nice and they have a nice facility. It’s not really far from home, so my family can come watch me,” Cole said. “I really like the coaching staff and I’m thankful that they are giving me this opportunity.”
Cole moved into the starting lineup at HCHS as a sophomore and averaged 8.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game as the Bears finished 19-8. His production grew to 13.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game as a junior as he helped lead Harlan County to a 52nd District Tournament title while earning most valuable player honors in the process. The Bears finished 24-11 and fell to Knox Central in the regional finals.
As a senior, Cole was ranked among the region’s top players all season long and played like it, averaging 15.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as the Bears finished 19-6 before falling to Knox Central again in the 13th Region Tournament.
“He’s grown up so much in his time here and we’re going to miss him,” Harlan County coach Michael Jones said. “We appreciate everything he’s done. I don’t think we would have made the runs we made without him. When he started playing aggressive on offense, it always made our teams better.”
“I will always cherish my time at HC. It was some of the best times of my life and I will never forget it,” Cole said. “I am looking forward to getting to Berea and getting to work.”
Cole joins a Berea squad that finished 1-9 in a covid-shortened 2021 season. The Mountaineers have posted three straight losing seasons since finishing 17-10 in 2017.
“When I talked to their coach, I told him if they gave him a chance they were getting a diamond in the rough,” Jones said. “He has so much room to grow as a player. I feel if he goes down there and sticks with it, he could eventually be a leading scorer.”
“We are really excited to have Tyler joining the Berea College basketball program next year,” said Berea College coach John Hemenway. “He is a really solid player who can score driving to the basket or shooting the ball from the perimeter. He also comes from a very good high school program that is used to winning, and we look forward to him helping us be successful in the future here at Berea.”