Competitive spirit drives Bryant

Published 5:10 pm Friday, March 9, 2012

Top scorer: Senior guard Trey Bryant averaged 15.3 points per game for Jemison during the 2011-12 season. He called a 20-point effort in a win over rival Chilton County his best performance of his three-year varsity career.

Editor’s note: Following is the first part of a two-part series recognizing the best of local high school basketball from this past season. Look for the girls player of the year next week.

Trey Bryant’s first basketball memories are as a 6-year-old going outside to play against his mother.

“She would beat me, and I would get mad,” said Bryant, a senior guard on the 2011-12 Jemison basketball team.

His mother, Machelle Ford, you see, was no slouch. She played for Jemison during her high school years.

The competitive spirit instilled in Bryant served him well. He led a successful Panthers team with 15.3 points a game and is The Clanton Advertiser’s Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Bryant started on the JHS varsity squad for three years—and was a prolific scorer each of those years—but as a senior perhaps made more of an effort to get his teammates involved.

He said he would start off games trying to score a few buckets, to make the defense recognize him as the team’s primary threat, and then work to find open teammates.

“When Trey wanted to, Trey got everybody involved,” first-year coach Van Clements said. “That’s when we were at our best.”

Bryant said he was at his personal best in a 71-58 win over rival Chilton County High School at home early in the season.

Bryant scored 20 points in that game but had 31 points against Bibb County as a junior, so why does he consider the CCHS win a highlight? The importance of the rivalry is surely a factor.

Bryant didn’t like losing those games—or any games, for that matter. He learned early in life that winning is much more enjoyable.