On Sunday, Feb. 24, junior Ben Bryson tweeted a surprise announcement regarding his future in the sport of basketball. The West Henderson varsity point guard announced that he has committed to Tennessee Tech University.

“After going everywhere else and experiencing other colleges and how they feel about me, I felt like no one was going to take better care of me than the coaches over there,” Bryson said. “My parents even told me they feel comfortable with me being there for four years and having all those strangers take care of me.”

Bryson had received other offers from schools such as Wofford and Presbyterian College, and had other schools contact him such as Appalachian State and Clemson.

“The recruiting process was awesome,” Bryson said. “I wish everyone could experience it because going to colleges and having big name schools like Clemson call you is just really awesome.”

Some other reasons Bryson was drawn to the purple and gold were the school’s campus and new athletic facilities. According to Bryson, one of the biggest reasons he committed to Tennessee Tech was because of head coach Steve Payne.

“The coach got into contact with me when I was just 15,” Bryson said. “When I played travel ball with the Tennessee Bobcats, we were practicing at Carson-Newman University and Coach Payne’s son was on my team. So he came to one of our practices and he really liked me and invited my dad and me to take our team to camp at Tennessee Tech. After they watched me play in that summer, they offered a spot to me.”

When Bryson arrives at Tennessee Tech as a freshman, he will not get a lot of playing time on the court. He said his main goal for his freshman season will be to keep improving, have fun and work on his transition from high school to college basketball.

“I’m a little nervous because I can tell they’re really good players and I’ve got to work harder to be able to play on that level,” Bryson said. “I’ve talked to my dad about the differences between high school and college, and he said the biggest difference is the pressure from the defense. It’s going to be hard to get used to, but I think practicing with the team will help me get used to it and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Bryson has been playing basketball since first grade, so he was very excited for this moment and has appreciated all the support he has received from his family, friends, teammates, teachers and fellow students.

“My family was so excited because they fell in love with the school like I did,” Bryson said. “When my dad and I called my mom to tell her the decision, she started crying over the phone, and I could hear my sister and my brother cheering in the background, and that was just an awesome feeling. Other than my family, my teammates are my biggest supporters. They were so happy for me and I got text messages from every single one of them congratulating me. After I put my decision on social media, I got an overwhelming response from people who I didn’t even think would say something. My family and I are just overjoyed with all the love and support we’ve received.”

By: Stone Hogan, Feature Writer

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