Mercer’s Bryan credits high school, Hoffman for off-court success

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Mercer men’s basketball player Jibri Bryan is one of less than 300 American college athletes nominated to this year’s Allstate Good Works Team.Not many college basketball players get more than four years on campus. Thanks to a few medical hardships from the NCAA, Bryan has had six.

He’s seen it all here, from a losing record in 2010 to a win over Duke in the NCAA Tournament in 2014.

He’s also had plenty of time for other activities.

“Give back man,” Bryan says. “Always give back no matter what. How big you become or how far you come, just always give back.”

The Savannah native, who calls attending a military high school the best decision of his life, chose Mercer not for basketball but academics.

“You can’t bounce a basketball forever, so life after basketball, what am I going to fall back on?”

Bryan is taking that belief and spreading it all over middle Georgia. He’s spent hours at schools all over the region, stressing the importance of attendance and good grades.

“School is important,” he says. “You might not think so now, but you’re building habits for the future, so being on time, turning your homework in on time, because when you get to college, you won’t have anybody to be there for you. You’re all on your own.”

That’s not entirely true in Bryan’s case. He’s had coach Bob Hoffman, who over six years, has completed Bryan’s transition from boy to man.

“My high school helped me grow, but he taught me things on the court that carries over off the court that I use to this day and I’ll use forever,” Bryan says. “He helped me tremendously. After the season, I’m going to sit down and tell him how much I really appreciate it.”

Bryan has one semester left of grad school.

From all the nominees, the Good Works Team of 10 players–five from Division I and five from Divisions II and III and the NAIA, will be announced in February.

 

Categories: Across Georgia Sports, Bibb County, Sports

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