EMPORIA (KSNT) – Tray Buchanan averaged more than 25 points per game and shot 40.8% from three this past season.

If you think that’s impressive, there’s more to him. Buchanan didn’t decide he wanted to be a professional basketball player until 6th grade. Football was his first love, but his middle school in Chicago didn’t have a football team.

“Once I couldn’t play football, I just really transitioned over,” Buchanan said. “Once I got the love for the game, after that, I knew I wanted to play pro.”

It takes a special work ethic to become a professional-level athlete in 11 years.

“When he enters between the lines, he turns on the kill switch and it’s time to go,” Emporia State head basketball coach Craig Doty said.

Buchanan grew into Division II’s leading scorer in just one year with the Hornets. With a few more months of practice, he’s hoping to sign a professional basketball contract.

“If I could sum it up in one word, I’m a playmaker,” Buchanan said. “Obviously, I can score at a high level but I can also get my teammates involved at a high level as well.”

He signed with Mario Scotti of Two Points Agency, which is based out of Italy. Scotti contacted Buchanan before the season started.

“More agents reached out once the season was over with, but just having that relationship already established previous to me having the season that we had, that spoke volumes to me which is ultimately why I wanted to give him a shot the first year,” Buchanan said.

This journey isn’t just about Buchanan getting paid to do something he loves. He’s doing it for the people he loves.

“I found my purpose when I had my first kid,” Buchanan said. “That really turned me up and made me lock in, you know? I can’t lose no more. I can’t have any more slip ups because I’m doing it for a bigger cause at this point.”

Traveling for work can be tough on a young family, but Buchanan and his family are used to it.

“My first school, I was ten hours away,” he said. “My second school, I’m seven hours away. Here in Emporia, I’m six hours away from home. So just being away from home, if I have to do that overseas, I think me already going through stuff like that will definitely prep me.”

His next stop: Las Vegas for a Pro Day his agent is hosting.

“Some guys could score a lot of points and do good things, whether it be in Division II or Division I, but their game doesn’t necessarily translate on to the next level,” Doty said. “For Tray, he can do what he’s doing at the professional level.”

After Pro Day, it’s a waiting game.

“He’s just a beautiful soul,” Doty said. “We love him. We’re going to miss him as a person, and of course, we’re going to miss nearly 26 points per game, too.”