Standing 6'6" and blessed with natural ability, intelligence and a certain grace, Kyle Teichmann can look back at a remarkable college basketball career. He now holds the program record for most points scored by a Freed-Hardeman University player. He broke the old record Feb. 20 against Park University with a shot from the paint that gave him 2,115 points.
A stellar athlete, he graduated from Brentwood High School in 2009 as their second leading all-time scorer and with multiple all-district and all-region awards. Coach Jason Shelton recruited him for the Lions with a promise that the offense would get the ball to the post and that if he came and worked, he would get playing time and a chance at a college degree. "He sold FHU as a rising program, but didn't promise anything about basketball," Teichmann said.
Teichmann made an immediate impact, garnering TranSouth Conference Freshman of the Year honors. The next year, he led the team in scoring and rebounding and was named first team all-conference and third team All-American. His junior year, he became the TranSouth's Co-Player of the Year and a second team All-American. He shot 54.6 percent from the field and averaged 21.3 points per game.
And then came the 2012-13 season. In the second game of the season at Lee University, Teichmann sustained a season-ending ACL injury. It could well have been the end of what was already an outstanding career. However, the NAIA granted him a medical redshirt and he was eligible for another season.
Teichmann graduated summa cum laude last spring with a degree in kinesiology and decided to stay at FHU for another chance at a senior season.
"I didn't want my career to end on an injury," he said. "You want to go out on your own terms. I wanted to enjoy another year with the team and be a part of what has become one of FHU's best teams ever." In addition, he could earn a Master of Business Administration from FHU.
Thus began a long year of hard work. "It was nine months after surgery before I could play basketball again," he said.
"Kyle is a fierce competitor. I believe that attribute went a long way toward pushing him to get back after his ACL surgery," Shelton said. "He was able to return in September and never missed a second of practice even with the surgery coming after Thanksgiving last fall."
Maybe it was all that time he had to think that has given him an interesting perspective on the experience of last season. "It was really tough," Teichmann said, "and while I'm not glad it happened, in the long run it may have been a blessing."
An excellent student in addition to his prowess as an athlete, Teichmann has learned to balance his academic career with his basketball career and his work study job. "You can't take a day off," he said, "and you still have to prepare, even after a late game." That work ethic has paid off. Last year, he was inducted into Alpha Chi, and he carries a 4.0 in his graduate classes. Time is a little easier to manage this year since his MBA classes meet one night a week and online.
Although he has achieved much, Teichmann still has goals unmet. He came back this year knowing the scoring record was within reach. Check that one off. He also wanted to go to the national tournament and stay longer than in previous trips..
In August he is scheduled to receive his MBA. After that, he will do what most graduates do—search for a job. He would like to return to the Nashville area and find a way to combine his undergrad kinesiology major and his interest in sports and human performance with the increased opportunities made possible by his MBA.
Teichmann will take with him the satisfaction of a job well done and great memories, particularly the relationships with his teammates. "The best friends I have in the world," he said, "are those I've played and lived with here."
He considers Zack Frey, former All-American post, one of those best friends. "We were suitemates, so we spent a lot of time together," Teichmann said. "As a freshman playing against him, I learned so much. It made me better, and I've tried to follow his example in leadership and hard work."
"I've enjoyed my time here," Teichmann said. "People have been nice and kind. This place has been so supportive. Everyone roots for each other."
Lion fans would agree it's been easy, and fun, to root for the conference's co-player of the year and a First Team All-American, both honors he received this year.