So what is wrong with aiming for seemingly impossible heights? Some guys are living legends in their own minds while others can back it up. Ok so achieving a triple double in the easyCredit BBL in Germany is rare. Some guys have achieved it more than once like Luke Sikma and Rashid Mahalbasic, but a quadruple double? C.J. Bryce (196-SG-1996, college: NC State) is a talented player that had a solid NCAA career for 2 schools and played in arguably one of the best basketball conferences in the nation with the ACC. But despite doing that nothing was given to him as he played his rookie season in Hungary which isn’t exactly a top league in Europe. Still easyCredit BBL team s.Oliver Wurzburg took a chance on him and so far he hasn’t disappointed and put up not only stellar stats with 16,1ppg, 3,3rpg, 1,1apg and 1,0spg while shooting 43% from downtown, but displayed exquisite versatility. He has scored in double figures in all 15 games and scored 20 points or more 4 times. I can’t remember too many guys coming from Hungary and putting up stats like that in the easyCredit BBL. Some must be wondering what his secret is too adapting so well to a higher league? ‘There is no secret. Whatever you do in life, you must remain true to it. Whatever you put in life is what you attract, and my goal is to attract as much success as possible with basketball at this point. I have a great coaching staff around me and teammates that push me every day to continue to grow on the court’, stressed C.J. Bryce. He is putting up incredible stats and proving to be a stat filler for the hungry surprise team of the season s.Oliver Wurzburg. ‘I pride myself on impacting the game in every area possible for me. I think that is a quality that the greatest players of all sports possess. Offense and defense. Even the best teams have great offensive players and also great defensive players. I think it is important to be versatile in all areas of life. Maximize your potential. I look forward to putting up some triple doubles in the future! Maybe even a rare quadruple double’, warned C.J. Bryce. He most likely won’t achieve a rare quadruple double in the easyCredit, but his high energy versatile game will continue to power s.Oliver Wurzburg to success.
C.J. Bryce who lists NBA beast Zion Williamson as his toughest foe in the NCAA was born on October 30th, 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He grew up in Huntersville and got his first basketball experience and played at North Mecklenburg high-school. He then played 2 years at the University of Noth Carolina Wilmington playing a total of 68 NCAA games. He gained success in both seasons winning the CAA title twice. ‘I would say the 2017 title was sweeter just because I remember winning my freshman year and seeing my older teammates playing so well and it really inspired moving forward because I really wanted that feeling of success again. I was blessed to receive tournament MVP as a sophomore and another chance to play in the NCAA tournament which on 1 team technically from our conference could participate in so it was very special for me and my team’, remembered C.J. Bryce. In his freshman season he averaged10.1ppg, 4.2rpg, FGP: 55.2%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 63.2% and in his second year picked up his game drastically and averaged 17.4ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 54.0%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 68.0%. In his 2 years there he scored in double figures in 49 games. He had many great games like scoring 28 points against Towson or hitting Delaware for 27 points and Campbell for 26 points all in wins, but he will never forget scoring 16 points against NCAA powerhouse Duke and matching up against future NBA stars like Brandon Ingram and Grayson Allen. ‘It was great for me although winning is so important to me that the loss really stuck with me, because it was a winnable game for us. Duke was a very talented team. I really enjoyed the competition that game’, said C.J. Bryce. In his two years at Wilmington, he also was able to monitor the development of future NBA player Devontae Cacok who was the perfect role model for everyone. ‘Devontae dedicated his life to his craft and it has shown every year as he continues to improve and develop as a player. He always gave his all and nothing less, which has made him a great player but also speaks a lot about who he is as a person’, added C.J. Bryce. He was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team , All-CAA All-Tournament MVP -and was All-CAA First Team
After 2 years in Wilmington the guard who remembers beating teammate Torin Dorn in daily 1-1 battles in practice chose to make a change and went to North Carolina State who are best remembered for their 1983 Cinderella run and win with head coach Jim Valvano beating the highly favored Houston Cougars with Hakeem and Clyde Drexler. It was a no brainer for him to attend there. ‘I felt that I wanted the chance to play in the best conference in the country. I think that staying at Wilmington would have been a great decision also but I took a step outside my comfort zone with my decision to transfer. It really helped shape who I am today on and off the court’, stated C.J. Bryce. He had the chance to play some of the greatest schools in the NCAA like North Carolina and even beat Duke scoring 22 points. ‘I remember playing at Carolina and it was an amazing experience. The facilities and atmosphere there was on a different level. I remember missing the game winning shot against Carolina at home my junior year. After the game my coach simply told me that I was prepared for that moment. It shaped me. This is the way that I prepare now for life, being ready for whatever is thrown my way. Especially on the court, I work on all game situations at game speed. It was huge for us beating Duke. At that time I would say they weren’t the Duke that they were known for being, although still having some big time players on roster and a Hall of Fame coach, it was going to be tough for them to beat us at home that year. I would call it a top 10 moment in NC State history, but they just did it again this season’, stressed C.J. Bryce. He played 64 NCAA games in his 2 years at North Carolina State averaging 11.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 75.6% and in his senior year averaged 13.3ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 77.9%. One person that was vital in his development here was head coach Kevin Keatts who saw his potential at a young age. ‘Coach Keatts saw my potential in high school and took a chance on me and put me in the starting lineup as a freshman. He took another chance on me and brought me from the CAA to the ACC. He believed in me, and sometimes that all it takes to bring out the best in someone. I am glad I had the chance to play for him at those two levels’, remembered C.J. Bryce. He scored in double figures in 42 games and had big games against Georgia Tech scoring 24 points and against Miami scoring 22 points. Being able to be in North Carolina and play for 2 different schools is something that not many kids get a chance to do. ‘I loved playing so close to home. UNC Wilmington was a beautiful experience, being able to be so close to the beach and on top of that we had excellent back to back seasons making it to the NCAA tournament and playing against to top ACC teams in Duke and Virginia. I also really enjoyed Raleigh and being able to play at that level with a huge fan base and so much history on that campus’, remembered C.J. Bryce who believes that Lebron James is the GOAT.
The North Carolina native who lists Markell Johnson, Stanley Whittaker, Devontae Cacok, Allerick Freeman (redshirt year), and Omer Yurtseven (redshirt year) as his best teammates of all-time got his first taste of the pro life playing for the Charlotte Tribe (ECBL). He came overseas for the 21-22 season and balled with Hubner Nyiregyhaza BS (Hungary-A Division) averaging 20.6pp, 6.9rpg, 2.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 61.5%, 3PT-3 (44.9%), FT: 84.1%. Every American has that wake up call and for him it was definately not hearing English in the arena. ‘The first game in Hungary was my wake up call! The energy was so different in the building. Hearing the announcer speaking but not understanding anything he is saying pre game, to hearing the different horn from the scores table. The European game experience has been so different for me and with this being my second year I am still learning the ins and outs. At the end of the day basketball is basketball’, warned C.J. Bryce. This season he is playing for the s.Oliver Wurzburg who have won 8 games and are fighting for a playoff spot averaging 85 points as a team and allowing 85 points. They have been the big surprise of the league. The team is pretty much carried by him, the guard duo of Cameron Hunt and Stanley Whittaker and Xeyrius Williams. ‘We have a lot of offensive weapons, and we have really focused on our defense. We know that we can score but at this level everyone can score the ball. The games come down to how locked in we are on defense and we have bought in to that mindset that we want to stop everyone’, expressed C.J. Bryce. The team didn’t begin great and has picked up their play and are 5-2 since December. They have locked down on defense which has been massive for their success. ‘With this select group of guys playing together for out first time ever this season, we have had to grow and learn each other. We are learning to trust each other more every week and picking up on each others energies and approaches to the game. I think the more we continue to grow as a team off the court will on benefit us in the long run’, commented C.J. Bryce. Three guys who have been very instrumental for the success has been head coach Saso Fillipovski and the guard Duo of Cameron Hunt and Stanley Whittaker who have huge chips on their shoulders having played in the NAIA and have proved that heart can get you to places you may never have dreamed of. ‘Coach has a lot of experience and success with the game of basketball, and his knowledge for the game has been incredible to see. He has a mindset to improve in every aspect and this has been passed down to the players. We are a very young team so I think being able to learn from a coach of his caliber has been great for us all. Hard work beats talents on any given day. Those two guys have been incredible for us this season, and I have personally learned a lot from them playing the guard position. They have high IQ’s for the game and it definitely shows on the court’, warned C.J. Bryce. Tonight he will face the best team that he has ever faced as a professional with Alba Berlin. An upset would be another big step for the team in the Cinderella season. ‘I am excited for every game as it is truly a blessing to be able to play this game for a living. We want to beat them and every other team we play just as bad every game. Our first game of the season was against Bonn, which I believe was an eye opener for us. I think this game against Alba is a chance to see just how far we have come as a team. With them playing EuroLeague, they see the best European talent on a weekly basis. We look forward to a hard fought game from both sides and hopefully we can get the win on our home court’, added C.J. Bryce.
The versatile player who lists Magic, MJ, Lebron James, Wilt and Shaq on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore is a 196cm shooting guard that can’t compare his game to an NBA player simply because he is an evolving player. He has had the luxury of having played many different positions which can be credited for him evolving into a versatile player. ‘I was playing the power forward and center position my freshman year of high school. It has been a long journey and a lot of work to come into the shooting guard position. I would like to continue to progress into playing the point guard position. Even though scoring comes natural to me I love the passing game and getting others involved. I hope to show this part of my game at a high level one day’, stressed C.J. Bryce. His offensive game is growing and a big part of his game, but his defensive game has also made strides in only a short time in Germany. ‘I think that my defense has come a long way within just a few months of me being in Germany. I think it has come a lot from me working on my body and position. My reactions are becoming better and I am reading the game better than ever on the defensive end. I think I am a versatile defender. I can guard 1-4. On ball, off-ball, post-ups. My coaches this season have really pushed me from day one to become better in this area. I really want to continue to work on my position on the court as I think this is very important when it comes to defense. You can be very athletic but position can be the difference between and still and an open shot. I think Marcus Smart is a great example of an elite defender. His effort is unmatched on defense. But he also pays attention to the details and I think with more experience I can get to that level’, warned C.J. Bryce. He is already performing at a high level in the easyCredit BBL, but his drive and hunger to get even better is always on the rise. ‘I am working on my pick and roll reads the most at this point. I think that this area could really take my game to the next level. I think that if you can master the pick and roll in Europe then the NBA style of play becomes relatively easier, as there is more spacing and less physicality. I wish to continue to become a better scorer, but I think the more I become unpredictable with ball in my hands the more dangerous I can be on the offensive end’, stated C.J. Bryce. It will be interesting how much more his game will grow in the easyCredit BBL and where the Cinderella season of s.Oliver Wurzburg will end. He may never achieve the quadruple double, but his versatility will always be present as his hunger to improve will always drive him as he continues to move up the basketball ladder in the next years.