March 11, 2009
Santa Clara senior center John Bryant, the 2009 West Coast Conference Player of the Year, has been invited to play in the Hershey's College All-Star Game on Fri., April 3 at Ford Field in Detroit as part of the NCAA Final Four. In addition, Bryant will play in the 57th annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (P.I.T.) in Portsmouth, Va., April 8-11.
"When I first came here, I never thought I'd be here - with all of these kinds of opportunities. It's a real testament to what kind of positive environment Santa Clara has to thrive in," said Bryant, who will finish his degree in Sociology this quarter. "Santa Clara is a fantastic place, a great school and it was just a great choice for me."
"Playing in Detroit and in Portsmouth are both great opportunities for me to play against some really strong players and show what I can do," said Bryant, a 6'11, 275lb. native of San Pablo, Calif. "I want to see how much work I can do, which maybe a lot, but I am starting tomorrow at 8 am with a cardio workout. I am going to jump into it quick. I want to be ready."
"The Final Four All-Star Game is a big deal for me. Coach Keating told me it's a good thing to go play in and it's also about enjoying the whole college atmosphere of the Final Four. I can't wait," said Bryant. "I have heard about so many of the great players invited and so it will be fun to see what I can do against them in that kind of environment. I am really looking forward to it. A week later, the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament is a true business trip. It's time to go out there and impress coaches and scouts. It's in a few weeks and I should be well into my workouts and conditioning; and I can show the progress I've made in 2-3 weeks and know it will only get better."
"I am extremely proud of John and his accomplishments at Santa Clara, and to have had a part in that will always remain with me," said Bronco second-year head coach Kerry Keating. "John has been a true student-athlete and a great leader by example for our young players. He has been instrumental in our transition to a bright future by continually doing the right thing and making sure everyone in the locker room follows suit. I am confident that if he maintains his focus and determination to build on the success of the last two seasons, he will present himself with an opportunity of a lifetime - to play basketball professionally. I look forward to continuing to work with John this spring to help him achieve that goal, and will be counting on John to be an ambassador for Santa Clara after he graduates this spring. Congratulations to John and his family on his achievements, his degree and his future in basketball!"
Bryant, who weights between 279-280, would like to get down to 265-270 range and lose about 7% body fat by the end of May.
"It will help me even more to be trimmer. It will help me with the different tests I will do - running in the tournaments, etc. I will be graduating this quarter and that is a bonus because I won't have to worry about classes. There won't be any conflicts with studying, it's all basketball," said Bryant. "Brody Angley (2008 Santa Clara graduate) will be back from Europe in April and he will be a great workout buddy. He is a workhorse. He doesn't like to fail and doesn't like others to fail so it will be motivating working out with him as well."
Bryant is the only Bronco in school history to score 1,600+ points, grab 1,100+ rebounds and block 200+ shots. Bryant finished his career at Santa Clara No. 1 in rebounds (1,152), No. 1 in blocks (246) and No. 6 in scoring (1,667). He is No. 1 in the country in double-doubles, rebounds per game and total rebounds. Bryant's school-record 467 rebounds this season were the 10th most in the NCAA since 1973.
Bryant had 50 double-doubles in his career, a school record, and is No. 2 of active players behind Washington's Jon Brockman, who has 57 career double-doubles. Bryant has a national-leading 26 double-doubles this year. He is the 30th player in the history of the NCAA to tally 26+ double-doubles in a season and only the third player in the 21st century (Andrew Bogut, Utah and Michael Beasley, Kansas State).
Bryant finished the season with 16 straight double-doubles, dating back to Jan. 11, 2009. It is the longest streak since then-Wake Forest center Tim Duncan pulled down 17 straight in 1997. Bryant is only the 24th player in NCAA history to grab 16 straight double-doubles or more.
His 27 rebounds vs. San Diego on Sat., March 7 were the most rebounds in an NCAA game in more than three years. Louisiana Tech's Paul Millsap had 28 rebounds vs. San Jose State on Feb. 15, 2006. It was the most for a Bronco since 1971 (28, Fred Lavaroni, Feb. 15, 1971 vs. Saint Mary's).
He made the top 10 of 11 career categories and the top 10 of seven season categories with his play this year.
The HERSHEY'S College All-Star Game will tip off at 4:35 EST on Friday, April 3, 2009 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. 2009 marks the 47th annual NABC College All-Star Game and the second year the game will be played in the same stadium as the NCAA® Men's Final Four® Tournament. The HERSHEY'S College All-Star Game is free to the public and will be televised on CBS College Sports network.
Each year for 57 years the P.I.T. has invited 64 of the best college basketball players (seniors) from across the nation to participate in a four-day, twelve game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team. Today scouts from numerous international leagues have joined in on the annual April pilgrimage to Portsmouth. Over the years the P.I.T. has been a showcase for five of the 50 greatest players in NBA History (Rick Barry, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, Dave Cowens, John Stockton, Scottie Pippen) and for many others who have gone on to NBA stardom.