Credit: Don De Mars/EVT

Credit: Don De Mars/EVT

Society in the West pulls people apart. Together with a community during school, peers are separated at the next stages in life. A little more than half of high school graduates attend college. Those who pursue a formal education are separated by their focus of study. The rest, who work instead of attending school, are isolated according to the type and location of their profession.

There are enormous economic benefits to this approach. Untethered by familial responsibilities, unrooted workers can more readily follow where the labor market leads. Void of deep connections outside of their employment, people look to their co-workers for belonging. When workers have significant relationships at the office, they are happier, more informed, and more productive.

Whatever the financial positives, for some, the difficulty of leaving those closest to them is challenging. Many fight the separation if only to prolong the inevitable. SDSU guards Tyler, and Triston Broughton have found a unique path to resist the societal trend. They play basketball to be together.

“Being a twin is nice because he’s like my best friend,” Tyler Broughton said on an upcoming episode of The SDSU Basketball Podcast. “I’ve been with him since the beginning, and I’m hoping it’s going to be like that forever. I know we’re going to part ways at some point, but it’s fun. No one can really get my name right, but other than that, we’re always hanging out. We kind of have the same group of friends. It’s been awesome to be able to enjoy life with someone so bright like him.”

Credit: Don De Mars/EVT

In many ways, Broughton’s time with his brother at SDSU is a bonus. Out of high school, he nearly missed out on attending the university. Initially rejected as an applicant, it took an appeal of the admission’s original decision before he was finally admitted.  

This is the East Village Times’ fourth feature of a non-scholarship member of the Aztecs basketball team. A common refrain has resounded throughout. Each has been uniquely driven by a passion for the game and a belief in themselves. For Broughton, the added motivation of staying close to his brother was enough to allow him to reach the dream many have but few accomplish. He is a Division I basketball player.

There are benefits and detriments to playing a game at this high of a level. As one of the 49% of collegiate athletes who play without receiving any financial benefits, Broughton is stretched thin. He applies his superior work ethic in the classroom and on the court. The payoff is a chance to keep his basketball dream alive and the opportunity to stay united with his twin.

“Obviously, I feel every player’s dream is to be able to play for a college team that they love and to eventually get paid to play the game that they love,” Broughton explained. “I can’t say my goal’s different than that. But, just realizing the opportunity I have here, I definitely, want a better opportunity. … I’m just going to put my head down and work every single day until I can either get myself a better opportunity or make the best of the current opportunity. Again, it’s a blessing to be able to be here at San Diego State…it was definitely, the road less traveled to be able to get here, but I take a lot of pride in my journey. ”


It is this unconventional and arduous path Broughton has pursued that makes him special. 

To get where he is at in life, Broughton has endured an army of naysayers who think he is wasting his time and energy. Working hard when a scholarship is on the line or the prospect of a professional career is around the corner is one thing, but doing so without a clear path to any of those aspirations is another.

Broughton and the other non-scholarship players are the real stars of the SDSU basketball program. Their journeys suggest a bright future not just for themselves but for those around them.

Credit: Don De Mars/EVT

“Well, I kind of entered San Diego State not too sure what I really wanted to do,” Broughton said about his career after basketball. “I love business. I feel I kind of have an entrepreneurial mindset. I kind of want to start my own business at some point. But, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do right after college. I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. Like I said, I love business, and everyone said to keep your options open after college. That’s why I decided to take the degree in Business. I found a love in Management a little bit, so I made an emphasis in Business Management. Right now, I’m just looking for internships to really get myself in the field and find a passion in business that I really love.”

For now, the ball continues to bounce for Broughton, and with it, the chance to play the game he loves with one of the two people he loves most. Born 11 minutes after Triston, Tyler refers to his older brother as “the Rough Draft,” with Tyler being the final, updated, better version of the Broughton twins. The brothers are so connected, Tyler said he can emotionally feel his brother on the court. As identical as they are, there are some differences.

Triston, a valedictorian in high school, is the better student, though both excel in the classroom. Tyler has a much greater leaping ability, which he credits to picking up skateboarding as a kid, something Triston chose not to do. Both claim to be the better basketball player. It is a distinction SDSU head coach Brian Dutcher, and his staff will sort out.

Credit: Paul Garrison/EVT

“That’s me,” Broughton said with a smile. “Come on. If you ain’t betting on yourself, you ain’t betting right. We compete all the time. I win, he wins, but I think I got the total a little higher on my side.”

Entering their junior seasons, the twins will continue to bet on themselves as the clock is ticking on their journey together. If the Broughton twins have their way, they will leave SDSU on their way to professional basketball careers. Tyler is working to solidify his jump shot this summer to help his chances. Whatever the future holds, the 2022-2023 season should be one to savor because it might be one of the last years their day-to-day life brings them together. 

(Visited 1,003 times, 1 visits today)

Paul Garrison
My earliest sport's memory involve tailgating at the Murph, running down the circular exit ramps, and seeing the Padres, Chargers and Aztecs play. As a second generation Aztec, I am passionate about all things SDSU. Other interests include raising my four children, being a great husband and teaching high school.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *