The phone started ringing over the summer for Elijah Bryant, the Mill Creek High School basketball guard who helped lead the Hawks took a 21-7 record last season.
Bryant says he knew he had some respectable places to consider, however, Samford University scored Bryant, who will be on a team that is starting over fresh.
“I started getting recruited during the summer. I went there for an official visit and they got a new coaching staff and they basically told me that I would be part of the start of the whole program and they would base everything around me,” said Bryant. “It feels like home there.”
Samford University is a small private college located in Birmingham, Ala. The Bulldogs, competing in the Southern Conference, have proven they can hang tough with the best and Bryant noted that as one of his reasons for wanting to play in that conference.
Bryant will have an opportunity to challenge one of the most historic basketball teams in the country.
“Samford plays Kentucky every year. My freshman year there, we will play them,” said Bryant.
Bryant wanted to seal the deal before the start of the season so he can give his undivided attention to his team and avoid a long and drawn out process.
“I wanted to take time to focus on the season and not have to worry about the recruiting process. You can’t be rude to them because they are offering you a scholarship but [sometimes they call when you have homework to do]. I just wanted to get it over with and focus on the season,” Bryant stated.
Bryant received interest from a number of other schools and even had a chance to spend time with his future colleagues on the court.
“[I had offers from] the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Navy, Brigham Young University, Utah State University and Wofford University. I took a visit out to BYU. I went up [to Samford] for an official visit and we spent the whole night with the team,” said Bryant.
Bryant says he is excited to play at the next level and said there is one team in particular that he is really looking forward to playing.
“[I'm looking forward to playing Georgia Southern because Delano Spencer will be [playing] there. He goes to Greater Atlanta Christian. He just signed with Georgia Southern and I look forward to matching up with him,” said Bryant.