Wichita State male basketball player Tyson Etienne became the latest student-athlete to take advantage of new name, image and likeness rules, showcasing his photography skills in an art exhibition downtown from Wichita on Saturday.
The exhibition entitled âWhat do you see? showed the photographs of Etienne from New York at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was hosted by Mud Haus and included live and silent auctions, as well as a prize raffle.
âYou see it from a different perspective, everyone has a different perspective,â Etienne said. âI’m just here to show how I capture it. I captured New York City during COVID-19, a city that still has people on the streets, empty, and just giving people a different perspective.
âEveryone here is mainly from Wichita, Kansas, and only sees New York in the movies, in photos and stuff. I wanted to give my own interpretations of the environments. What they see in the frame and in the lens is what they represent. “
Proceeds from the selected photographs will go to Starkey, a local organization serving people with disabilities. Choosing an organization like Starkey was important to Etienne.
âIt’s the most important thing for me to try to give back,â said Etienne. âAt the end of the day, I play basketball with the intention and intensity I have to inspire people globally. You have to start somewhere, so being able to give back to Starkey is a huge thing for me.
âPeople with disabilities are close to my heart, obviously I lost a member of my family because of it. Just being able to give back and give people a night on the town is something I appreciate. “
Etienne first developed a passion for photography during his first year of high school after injuring his ankle. As he could not train or train, his mother suggested photography to him and he quickly found a passion.
âMy mom was like ‘you have to take the camera and go somewhere and get out of the house’,â Etienne said. âFrom that point on, I remember going to that river and taking pictures of the city and I loved that feeling and it’s been a hobby of mine ever since.
The sophomore guard is just off his best season as a Shocker, winning the co-AAC Player of the Year award and leading WSU to a berth in the NCAA tournament. Etienne is back in Wichita for his third season of college basketball after testing the waters of the NBA Draft last offseason.
Etienne said it was important for him to host the first part of his show in Wichita, after the last three years.
âI wanted to have the lead role in Wichita, it was important to me for the last three years of my life,â Etienne said. “I grew so much as a person and a player obviously, but I wanted to do something to give back to the city.”
Etienne’s teammates were present at the event, and he said their support off the basketball court was important to him.
“Just for my teammates to support something that is not on the pitch, I am grateful for that, but it also shows me the impact I have on my teammates,” said Etienne. âThe fact that my teammates come and stay makes me really grateful. I’m happy to go to war with these guys and for the season that we have. “