Norfolk State fifth-year senior Joe Bryant Jr. put on a show Friday evening, giving the Houston crowd a performance to remember at the NABC Reese’s Division I College All-Star Game.
The Spartan guard finished with a game-high 22 points, including a game-tying three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation, sending the event to overtime. The performance earned him Most Valuable Player honors of the East team.
“Just want to give a lot of credit to these guys for bring the best out of me,” Bryant said after the game. “My teammates put me in a position to be great and effective to score, and I trusted myself to be able to score.”
In addition to the points on the board, Bryant controlled both ends of the court with six rebounds, one assist, and a steal at NRG Arena.
The only student-athlete representing an HBCU at the event – Bryant was the only player on the court to reach 20 points on Friday.
“[My performance proved] that HBCUs belong,” Bryant said. “I feel like a lot of the time they categorize HBCU’s and PWI’s in a different category, but in reality, we’re all the same. We all got the same talent and we all bleed the same. It showed tonight.”
The first Spartan to play in the event since Pendarvis Williams in 2014, Bryant wasted no time getting comfortable, knocking down a 3-pointer just four seconds after checking into the game. He led the East squad with 12 points heading into the second half.
The West team pulled out a 104-99 victory on Friday, but it didn’t come easily. With the East trailing by three in the final seconds of regulation, Bryant pulled up confidently from the top of the key, knocking down the clutch shot to push the game into overtime.
Bryant’s time in Houston hasn’t wrapped up just yet – The two-time MEAC Player of the Year will compete in the 2023 HBCU All Star Game alongside teammate Kris Bankstonon Sunday. The game will air live on CBS, with tip-off slated for 4 p.m. ET.
Courtesy: Norfolk State Athletics
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