article written December 16 and featured in the LC Herald News on December 19, 2018
Newt Gingrich is quoted as saying “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” On February 23, junior Hawks Basketball player Warner Bryan went up for what looking like an easy slam dunk, but what resulted was a nasty fall keeping him out of the Hawks hope for a region basketball title in the weeks to come.
“It was a blur,” says Bryan “It all happened so fast. I am still recovering from injuries from it with my knee. It hurt me to watch us lose and know I couldn’t be there to help the team to bring home the region championship. It hurt more from watching from the sidelines than the actual fall.”
Nearly ten months from the injury have one by and Bryan is on the mend. He has endured a total of sixty doctor visits along with physical therapy during this time. “I am still trying to recover with lots of physical therapy and doctors’ appointments. I got lucky, it could have been a lot worse. I am thankful for all the people in and around the community that reached out to me and continue to support me and our team.”
Head Coach Paul Childress speaks of Bryan’s setbacks over the last two seasons. “Poor kid has had a string of bad luck. It started with a severe ankle sprain at the end of his freshmen year and about the time he gets back from that 100% he takes a nasty fall at Caverna. The injury kept him out of the Regional tournament and unfortunately we discovered this summer that a knee injury occurred during that fall. He has been rehabbing his knee for a couple of months now. Hopefully, he is on the road to recovery. It’s been a trying time for him and his family but I’m confident he will bounce back at some point this season. He has a lot of desire to play and contribute to this team.”
Childress is looking forward to having the 6-7, 230 pound red-head, who has been nicknamed “Red Mamba,” on the floor as the Hawks are poised to make another deep tournament run. Bryan, ironically saw his first action of the year Friday night at Caverna where he excited the crowd with a put-back slam dunk. Although he was limited to playing time because of conditioning reasons he seemed excited about the opportunity to be back on the floor with his teammates.
Bryan says, “To be able to get back on that court Friday night was something that is hard to describe. The nerves I had first walking back into that gym felt like it must’ve been the biggest game of my life. I was anxious the whole day before the game. That put-back slam was a feeling that not only put the biggest smile on my face, but I am sure made my parents just as happy. They have been the ones to guide me to get healthy and driving me from Louisville to up to two-three times a week.”
Bryan continues, “With all of the doctor appointments and therapy appointments I had to manage class work with falling behind early in the year. I have managed to work myself back and currently have all A’s and one B.I feel this setback made me mentally tougher, stronger, and more determined, to get back onto to the court and to help the team get back to the region tournament and have a different outcome this year and make it to State.”
Childress says, “Warner has a tremendous upside as a basketball player. He can bring so much to the court defensively and offensively with his length. He may have as much potential as anyone on this team. If we can get him healthy, I think he will surprise a lot of people with his skill set and ability to defend and rebound.”
Teammate and friend Mark Goode is excited to have Bryan back and contributing. “Warner adds a lot to our team. He is a great shot blocker, rebounder, and capable scorer. He will definitely play a vital role in our team’s success this season.”
When asked who he models his game after Bryan refers to former NBA great Tim Duncan who is considered the most fundamentally sound NBA player of all time. “I like Tim Duncan as a player, not to flashy but strong fundamentally and can take over a game silently.”
Bryan adds, “On the court I like to put the team first and accept my role and always work hard. Off the court I like to give back to the community and live a faithful Christian life and spend time with family and friends.”
Childress concurs, “Warner has always been a real competitor on the court. He loves to compete and loves to win. Off the court, he is more laid back. He is a fine young man, and well respected by his teammates and peers.”
Just like any and all Hawks teams, Bryan is easy to root for. Look for the Red Mamba to continue to persevere and lead the Hawks to a district and region championship.