The night of August 26 is considered a historic moment in Greenhill history. That night, the Greenhill Hornets Football team defeated St. Mark’s School of Texas for the first time in 13 years. This, among many other memorable moments this year, has been a result of the sheer effort junior Xavier “X” Bryant puts in on a day-to-day basis when out on the football field or the basketball court, according to teammate Konnell Woods.
X has not always played the sports that he is recognized for today. In fact, he played soccer up until fifth grade, before switching to basketball. His dad had always wanted him to play football. X, however, never quite took an interest in the sport until his sophomore year. Upon joining the Greenhill community, former Head Football Coach Tom Williams identified X as a player he needed on his team.
“Coach Williams really influenced my decision to play football. He said that I would be good at it because of my background in basketball, and that playing football would help me with basketball,” said X.
X’s commitment throughout the years stems from both the success he has seen as well as the support of Greenhill’s fans. X said that initially he was not very good at basketball, describing what he did as “just running up and down the court.” However, after getting a feel for the game and witnessing personal growth at a fairly rapid rate, he identifies the energy that he gets from the activity as an essential source of motivation. The effort X puts in is met by the encouragement of many, thus keeping him motivated while playing.
“I really like the feeling of playing in front of big crowds as that atmosphere of the fans who support me keeps me going,” X said.
While X can’t quite put his finger on what it is that he loves so much about basketball, he recognizes its influence on his life. Basketball and football have become ingrained into his life, in terms of both his schedule and his character.
“I really don’t know why I love sports so much. It’s just something I’ve done my whole life and it affects me greatly,” he said.
His basketball coach at Greenhill for the past three years, Coach Joey Sims, believes that the best part of working with X is not only his talent, but watching him grow significantly as a competitor and a leader.
“His basketball IQ is through the roof. He’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach. He’s a heck of an athlete, and he definitely makes our team and other people better,” said Coach Sims.
Now, as coaches from around the nation come to watch him play, it is clear that his long-time passion for sports has not only affected him growing up, but will pave the path to his future. With stats like 1000 receiving yards this past fall, X has attracted the attention of multiple universities. While he does not have any offers for football yet, he foresees that he will have some after the summer due to his success. For basketball, X has an offer from Sam Houston State University and is anticipating more.
“Now that [college coaches] are starting to contact me, it’s all about really improving and getting stronger, faster. Going to Greenhill is also a plus over other potential players,” X said.
With so many options to choose from, X is keeping an open mind and working on his craft. He says that he would enjoy playing both football and basketball in college, but recognizes that being a dual-athlete would be hard to balance at certain schools.
“I see sports as something to get me somewhere. I’m just focused on my progression through life. I would like to get school paid for, and maybe play at the higher level after that. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to succeed in life, and get a good education and job,” X said.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Green