April 6, 2009
On the eve of traveling to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Santa Clara senior John Bryant was named to the NaismithLives.com All-American Fourth Team. In addition, Bryant was named to the five-man Mid-Major Team by NaismithLives.com staff. He was the only West Coast Conference player named to either team (the All-America team included the top 25 players in the country with five on each team). Last week Bryant was named to the AP All-American Honorable Mention team, a first-time honor for a Bronco since Steve Nash in 1996.
"It's nice to be honored, but that's something I will think about later when I reflect back on my career," said Bryant. "Right now I am thinking about the future and so those type of honors aren't really on my mind. I have bigger things on my mind. The awards are great, but they don't write pay checks."
For the complete list see NaismithLives.com.
Bryant is heading to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament on the heels of playing in the Hershey's All-Star Tournament last Friday at the Final Four. Bryant rated his own performance as alright and felt he played better in the first half than the second half.
"It was competitive, but it was more about fun, playing in an all-star game atmosphere," said Bryant. "People weren't looking to do things they weren't capable of doing, they were just playing hard and having fun."
"I have been working out three times a day for the last three weeks and on a hellish diet, so playing in the Final Four All-Star game really helped put the fun back into it for me. It showed me I do love the game and I want to play it for a long time. It was great," said Bryant.
On Illinois head coach Bruce Weber acting as his head coach during the Hershey's College All-Star game, Bryant described Weber as a cool guy. "He was really fun to be around," said Bryant. "We already knew he knew what he was talking about because of all his success at Illinois and it made the experience more fun."
One thing that wasn't so fun - when Bryant's elbow connected with UCLA's Alfred Aboya's lip during Thursday's practice because the duo spent Thursday evening in the hospital getting stitches (Bryant had four, Aboya had 14) and they both missed watching the dunk contest.
Bryant will be playing on the Portsmouth Partnership team at the P.I.T. Others on his team include DeMarre Carroll (Missouri), Geoff McDermott (Providence), his All-Star roommate at the Final Four, Josh Akognon (Cal State Fullerton), Alonzo Gee (Alabama), Aaron Jackson (Duquesene), Robert Vaden (UAB) and A.D. Vassallo (Virginia Tech).
"We have a good solid team and we should be able to win some games," said Bryant. "My goal is to go there and play hard. I can't make anything happen, I just have to do what I do best. I want to stay healthy and play hard."
Bryant's team will tangle with Tidewater Sealants on Wed., April 8 and who is on that team? None other than Aboya of UCLA and former rival Micah Downs of Gonzaga.
"I've said before, the Portsmouth Tournament is a business trip," said Bryant. "I am just looking to play well. I know there are going to be some great players there, but names don't matter to me, it's all about right now. It doesn't matter about what you've done in the past or how great of a team you've been on - it's about right now. I am looking forward to getting there, playing my butt off and showing teams I can really play at the next level."
For more information on the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament see WWW.PORTSMOUTHINVITATIONAL.COM.