Trevon Bryant: Love, Basketball and Shottas DVD

November 25, 2011
by Justin

I remember the day I met Trevon Bryant. I was working in the computer lab as a resident advisor, in the dorm at Cal State Dominguez Hills. All 6’9” of him lowered his head, so that he could make it underneath the door. I assumed he was a basketball player. He was literally the big man on campus, and his arms were long enough to hand me his school ID from outside of the building. That was the first time that I noticed that this gentle giant commandeered all the attention in the room. Despite his presence, he quietly navigated social networks, while knocking out homework assignments. Within a few weeks and a few parties broken up at his dorm, Bryant and I developed a rapport. Most athletes thought they could break the rules (which I knew too much about); the truest testament to Bryant’s character was that even as he stood above everyone else, he never felt like he was above the law.

Growing up in a small town in Georgia will make you that way. Tifton, Georgia is 180 miles from the big city lights of Atlanta. Bryant’s small town values were apart of his rearing, and truthfully, what he loves most about his town.

“What I love the most about my hometown is the southern hospitality of the people,” says Bryant. “We always meet, greet and wave no matter who you are.”

Bryant considers his Tifton community as an important extension of his family.

“My town helped mold me into a man because the elders in the community that would just give you life-changing jewels.”

These pearls of wisdom came in handy. Though his city is more Mayfield than Gotham, Bryant still didn’t have an ideal small town, “Leave it to Beaver” upbringing.

“I was raised in a single-parent household,” says Bryant. “I had my Uncle Bennie that was always there, so he was the only father figure I had. He was a protector; I think that’s what I am also.”

Those protective instincts set fire to his passion to protect the rim on the basketball court. That basketball court was found at his hometown park. Copeland Park was the place he stumbled upon his first love, basketball.

“I fell in love with basketball at Copeland Park, playing against older guys while holding my own out there,” says Bryant. “I was all defensive, because I didn’t know how to score or dribble, but you couldn’t pay somebody to drive the lane on me. I would throw that stuff across the fence!”

That same style of defense helped Bryant set the Tifton County High School record for blocks in a game at 22. In the midst of his all-region and state honorable mention Junior and Senior seasons at Tifton County, Bryant helped lead his team to the Georgia State playoffs and a regional championship. Bryant was California dreaming once he caught the eye of current CSUDH head basketball coach, Damien Powell. Bryant’s high school coach, Robert Moore, put in the call on his behalf, to his friend Coach Powell. Powell was the head coach at Compton College at the time, and took interest in Bryant’s game.

“He [Coach Powell] flew in to watch me play at my high school in a pick up game and he was impressed,” says Bryant. “He wanted me to come play for him at Compton College. I was cool with it, because I always dreamt about going to Los Angeles.”

Two thousand miles and a few years later, Bryant had found success on and off the court. Bryant played for a year at Compton before transferring with Coach Powell to CSUDH. He broke the career and single-season record for blocks and met the love of his life, Antonia.

“Everything you need is at school!!! A job, a mate, and an education.”

In Antonia, Bryant found a future wife and best friend, who shared similar interests.

“She is a very genuine woman and I love her sense of humor,” says Bryant. “We both overly quote lines from the movie SHOTTAS… I knew she was “wifey” material from the start.”

His start at the next level came at one of Los Angeles’ most famous basketball destinations. Bryant was discovered at the Drew League after he nearly dropped a triple double in one of his games. He did this in spite of the fact that he sat out the entire fourth quarter. His name generated enough buzz for him to get an invite to Japan to play for NBA legend, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, father of current NBA all-star, Kobe Bryant. Despite his personal accomplishment, he humbly credits CSUDH assistant coach, Harry Bulgarin for facilitating his entry into the professional realm.

“All that [pro basketball] was set up through my guy Harry Bulgarin, which was an assistant coach my Junior and Senior year,” says Bryant. “Harry definitely is like my trainer/coach/uncle/brother/father figure; he is one of my closest friends in the world.”

From there, Bryant took his game to the international level. He’s played in Tokyo, and Fukuoka, Japan, along with Chile, Bulgaria and Uruguay. Bryant now plays for the country that has given the world the international pop star, Bjork.

“Now, I’m currently in Iceland,” says Bryant.

Playing in a country like Iceland pales in comparison to his most recent acquired title of father. No less than a month ago, Bryant’s wife Antonia brought his daughter, Atrea Glori-Ma’at into the world. This joyous occasion was bittersweet for Bryant, as he celebrated his daughter’s birth over four thousand miles away from her Los Angeles birthplace. In this instance, he has found a new motivation.

“It’s devastating that I couldn’t be there to see my daughter take her first breath,” says Bryant. “I can’t hold her right now and just thinking about it makes me sad. That’s my new motivation; I’m hooping for them.”

Bryant fought back from a knee injury to support his life’s love through his first love of basketball. His daughter’s pediatrician has already christened Atrea as a future star of the WNBA. They didn’t to know their daughter’s sex prior to birth, so when she was born the doctor yelled, “It’s the WNBA not the NBA.” It makes sense based on Bryant’s size, along with his wife who stands at 6’1”. Bryant’s towering size only tells a portion of his complex story. He studies Kemetic Spirituality, and is known for his sense of humor and love for music. Bryant’s life can be personified by his daughter’s middle name Ma’at, a Kemetic principle that means truth, order, balance, morality, justice, and love. In reality, Trevon Bryant’s code that he lives by translates well into his responsibilities as a father, husband, pro basketball player, and protector of everything he loves.

Our email interview ended with a message Bryant wanted me to impart upon the ScoutMe student athletes:

“To the readers: know that you are amazing people. Look in the mirror and   see yourself as what you want to be and go out in the world and become that.          Your mind is powerful. Visualize, plan, plan some more, work hard, then             work harder. If you pray or meditate, continue. Channel that energy and be humble and everything you do, but most of all get your education; hotep       (peace)…”

Even though his piece of mind may be located in a small-town in Georgia and a big city in California, his heart has never left. His peace is manifested whenever he looks into the eyes of his family, and his love is held together in pieces by all that are under his 7’0” plus wingspan. In all, the people Trevon Bryant protects, creates the force that propels his flight.

 

 

Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for ScoutMe. He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.

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