April 3, 2009
John Bryant came and conquered at the Final Four. Bryant will leave Final Four Friday in Detroit, Mich., with a W as his Reese's All-Star team defeated the Hershey's All Stars, 105-100 as part of the Hershey's Collegiate All-Star Game. Bryant, the WCC Player of the Year and the Bronco's all-time leading rebounder and shot blocker, started and grabbed 12 rebounds, scoring eight points with three rebounds.
He led his team with the 12 rebounds and teammate Tyrese Rice led all scorers with 24 points. Rice was the Most Outstanding Player for the Reese's team and Jermaine Taylor of Central Florida was the Most Outstanding Player for Hershey's team, scoring 23 points and a game-high six steals.
Bryant's Reese's All-star team was coached Illinois head coach Bruce Weber and assisted by Purdue head coach Matt Painter.
"We are happy John had the opportunity to play on the Final Four court and represent Santa Clara and our family. Games like that are historically difficult for big guys to play in, but I think John did what he does best, rebound, in order to help his team win. The response from the fans that showed up for Final Four Friday for John and Santa Clara has been very positive and I am glad John was able to participate in the game. It was well-deserved and will aid him in his preparation for the draft two months from now.
"Yesterday in practice towards the end, as John was turning to shoot, he caught UCLA's Alfred Aboya in the head," added Keating "John needed four stitches above his right elbow and Alfred needed 14 stitches in his lip. But they both played well today in leading their team to victory. I saw both of them after the game and they were laughing - strange I coached both and they had that kind of accident here."
Keating pointed out it was the most guys the West Coast Conference had playing in the game this year and said "that's a nice thing for our conference."
"John represented the West Coast Conference well with his start in the All-Star game. He played a solid game, rebounding well. He certainly had fun and had a good time playing on the national stage in front of a few thousand people on the same court they will play the Final Four on this weekend," said Bronco assistant coach Dustin Kerns. "We talked to him after the game and he said going through the whole experience of the Final Four was a great way to end his career. Hopefully we will have many Santa Clara Broncos playing in this type of game and performing as well as he did."