Basketball & Race, Miami Heat, NBA

What is Tyler Herro’s race? Is the Miami Heat guard part Asian or biracial?

Tyler Herro was drafted 13th overall by the Miami Heat after building a reputation as a deadly scorer for the Kentucky Wildcats. He’s quickly become one of the most interesting prospects from the 2019 NBA Draft. And as curious as some are of his game, Herro’s background and race also causes curiosity among his fans and followers.

Even though it appears that Tyler is at least some part Caucasian, his darker features and unusually darker hair do lend to the impression that Herro may be mixed race.

Tyler Herro’s Parents

Without much confirmation from Tyler himself, let’s look at his mom and dad for clues about his heritage.

Born in Milwaukee, on January 20, 2000 to Jen and Chris Herro — there’s not a lot of information on his parents background either. The photo of a young Tyler from this The Athletic article suggests that he had some mixed blood, but nothing has been confirmed otherwise.  So let’s take a look at this image we procured from Google Images when Herro committed to Kentucky.


Judging from photos around the ‘net, the Herros look like a happy atomic family. Tyler looks as if he got his darker features from both his father and mother. Both of whom look mostly Caucasian but as of this writing, we’re not sure if their parents identify as mixed race.

Is Tyler Herro Asian or Mixed?

Based on some of those darker features we mentioned earlier, some have wondered whether Herro is a quarter Asian or has some mixed blood. Let’s take a look at his personal history to see if we can figure out whether Herro is mixed. One way is to look into the Herro surname. According to internet lineage websites, the last name Herro does not originate in Asia at all.

In fact, our research tells it comes out pretty strong as a European last name. The origins of the last name seem to lean to Spain, Switzerland, and Germany. We found that there also were many naturalized from people with the last name Herro between 1791-1992. However, this same last name has strong roots in Wisconsin and Montana – and the incidence of the last name appears in the Philippines quite often; second to the United States

What Does Herro Say Himself?

Not much. At least nothing specific on the topic of his background because maybe there’s nothing to say.

We did find an interesting tidbit about how he his game has been compared to fellow former Wildcat Devin Booker who also happens to be biracial:

“A lot of people say that he and I have a lot of similar attributes, obviously being shooters.” Herro told USA Basketball in an interview. “I watch his game and model mine after his. I like his style, and I like studying his game.” 

Tyler has referenced the fact that he doesn’t just want to be “the white guy who can shoot” but that simple, but that loaded statement doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story of whether one is biracial especially in the context of basketball. If you don’t look at my skin color and we just go play basketball,” Herro told Kentucky Sports Radio. “You’re not going to say I’m a white kid that can just shoot.”

Until we get confirmation one way or the other, we’ll take Tyler at his word. He’s a great basketball player that happens to be a  “white kid“.


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