To most basketball players, a postseason award is a humbling honor, and a reflection of a season filled with successes.
For Union High’s Tanner Toolson, The Columbian’s All-Region boys basketball player of the year, it symbolizes so much more.
It’s what hard work looks like, getting countless hours in the gym to hone a craft. It’s what determination looks like, not giving up on the process to be a better player. And it’s what patience looks like, waiting for his time to shine and waiting for his body to catch up with his feet.
Call it a Toolson Transformation.
Toolson saved his best season for last, helping Union go 27-1 and place third at state. The All-Region honor is one of many accolades for the senior that includes a league MVP, player of the year by the state coaches association, and multiple all-state honors.
How he got here didn’t come easily. It’s hard to believe the 6-foot-5 senior who can play positions from point guard to center, if needed, began his prep career at Union as a short, 5-foot-6 point guard on the freshman team with overly sized feet. He was jokingly called, “Little Bambi.”