By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/31/20
Nadir Bryant says as a senior and a role model he feels it’s important to help others prepare for the future with both an optimistic and a realistic outlook as student-athletes deal with the pandemic.
“Personally, I want to make sure my classmates understand fully that the world next year may not be as easy as we thought it was going to be,” said the Devon Prep 2021 combo defenseman and short-stick middie.
Bryant, a member of the HEADstrong Quakers Lacrosse Club, is looking for the right college fit. He was named an All-Star last Saturday at the Victory Fall Classic Beast Nationals at the Delaware Turf Sports Complex.
Then on Sunday he helped HEADstrong claim the 21/22 Stripes Division championship at Delaware Turf. HEADstrong wnt 4-0 overall and toppled iM3 Lacrosse 21/22, 7-4, in the finals.
Bryant is looking to be a Pyschology major and possibly a counselor one day. He says he likes to counsel classmates and teammates and
“I want to be a counselor; I can help people with their problems,” he said. “I already do help friends; I get them input.”
Bryant is also thankful to be able to play a sport that may not be accessible to other African-Americans.
“I know people go to Philly public school that don’t get that opportunity as I would in private school in the suburbs,” said Bryant, who lives in King of Prussia. “We need to get gear to kids in the city.
“I know kids that know how to string sticks, and we need to get extra gear gear to donate to the area so they can get exposure and figure out if they truly like the sport.”
Bryant – an All-Delco Honorable Mention pick in 2019 – was happy to get on the field for his first major event of the fall at the Beast Nationals. He said he competed in one summer club tourney and one high school tourney, a last chance to play with seniors at Devon Prep.
At Beast Nationals, Bryant played defense and felt he played with confidence and freedom.
“I got to run around and show coaches what I have,” he said. “I think it went very well. My talk on defense was good and being able to make small connections with teammates was good.
“My team had good chemistry. Also, my footwork was strong. I think it’s been good since 8th grade; my coaches have always impressed me about footwork. My HEADstrong coaches have worked on it with me since 7th grade.”
Bryant felt he learned more about clears at the Showcase. “We went one pass over, trying to get it to the shorty,” he said. “We had a defensive drill where we passed it four times and the last pass back gave us more options to clear.
“I felt great. I got to show my athletic ability. I like being able to handle the ball and surprising people. They don’t expect someone with a 6-foot stick to move it around and get a pass off. I enjoy clearing and making sure everyone gets a touch.”
Bryant said before the showcase he quickly got to know his new teammates.
“Communication is key – making sure the defense is all on the same page,” he said. “For this showcase, before our first game we all started talking – which one plays defense, which one is LSM, asking, ‘How do you play’ and ‘What type of slides do you want to do?'”
Bryant said he is also looking forward to this weekend’s Liberty Nationals at the Proving Grounds, also a Victory Events tourney. Each chance to play is another chance to impress college coaches.
“As of right now I am reaching out to schools, figuring out Prospect Days and which coaches I want to watch me play or who to get film to,” he said.
Why was he successful last week in the showcase?
“Honestly, it was our aggression,” he said. “We were playing to our strengths, especially on defense. The defensive slides were really low and they weren’t able to score on us.”
Bryant’s HEADstrong team was successful Sunday was impressive considering the poor weather.
“We had great weather in the showcase, but the weather was terrible Sunday,” Bryant said. “It was freezing cold as a team had to adjust to help each other and just be better especially when it was raining and the winds were blowing.”
Tags: Devon Prep