(Contributors: Noah Freeman, Photo: iuhoosiers.com)
Thomas Bryant Biography
Thomas Bryant is an American basketball player born in born in Rochester, New York, that played for Indiana University. Thomas Bryant played center for the Indiana Hoosiers for two seasons between 2015 and 2017.
Bryant was one of many Indiana players recruited from the state of New York and was recruited by Tom Crean. He played for Bishop Kearney High School in Irondequoit, New York for three years before transferring to Huntington Prep in Huntington, West Virginia for his junior and senior year. Bryant was on the JV team in 8th grade before getting called up to Varsity for the Section V Tournament. After transferring to Huntington Prep, a school that produces many NBA-caliber athletes, Bryant was able to play on the AAU team, SCAN. His exposure on that AAU team, coupled with his play at Huntington Prep ranked him as the 20th best player in the Class of 2015 by ESPN. Thomas was a 2015 McDonald’s All-American player, made the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2016, and was third-team All-Big Ten in 2016.
Thomas Bryant was drafted in the second round and 42nd overall. He was originally drafted by the Utah Jazz before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Thomas spent one reason with the Los Angeles Lakers and their G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, before getting picked up by the Washington Wizards for the 2018-2019 season.
- Name: Thomas “TB” Bryant
- Position: Power Forward
- Nationality: USA
- Age: 21 years old
- Birthday: July 31st, 1997
- Hometown: Rochester, New York
- High School: Bishop Kearney High School (2011 – 2013: Irondequoit, New York) and Huntington Prep High School (2013 – 2015: Huntington, West Virginia)
- Height: 6’11” (211 cm)
- Weight: 248 lb (112 kg)
- Seasons: 2 (2015-2016, 2016-2017)
- Jersey: #31
- Current Team: Washington Wizards
- Current Salary: 1-year $1.38 million
- NBA Draft: 2017 / Round 2, Pick 12, Pick 42 Overall (Utah Jazz)
- Education: Major Undeclared
Awards and Accolades
- 2015 McDonald’s All-American
- 2016 Big Ten All-Freshman Team
- 2016 Third-team All-Big Ten
- 2018 NBA G League All-Rookie Team
- 2018 First-team All-NBA G League
- 2018-2019 Best field-goal percentage in Washington Wizards’ history (61.6%)
- 2018-2019 NBA-best two-point percentage (68.5%)
Thomas Bryant’s High School Recruiting Profile
Thomas Bryant was a 5-star Power Forward recruit from Huntington Prep High School in Huntington, West Virginia. The 6’11” center was ranked 20th in the 247Sports composite rankings. He was the third ranked point guard in the 2015 class and the second ranked player in New York behind Kansas commit Cheick Diallo.
In the 2015 McDonald’s All-American game, Thomas Bryant helped lead the East team to a victory while scoring 9 points and got 3 rebounds.
- 247 Composite Ranking: 5-Star (0.9919)
- Rivals: 4-Star (27th Overall, 5th Power Forward)
- Scout: 5th Power Forward
- ESPN: 89 Rating (20th Overall, ESPN100)
In high school, just like he is known for professionally, Bryant brought lots of energy on the court, was efficient under the basket, and was able to swat away shots defensively. Although Bryant was not as big as many incoming centers, he was able to still finish around the rim effectively and defend the post. He was able to find many rebounds on both offense and defense, and got many putbacks on the offensive end. One area critics said Thomas needed to improve on was finishing around the rim. Although he was not as good at finishing around the rim compared to others, Bryant excelled more than anyone else in his field goal efficiency, and still continues to excel in that category to this day.
Thomas Bryant on potentially signing with the Indiana Hoosiers
“If I chose Indiana, being a dominant player, I’d be a key focal point because being there and putting the hard work in and also just having a bunch of shooters around you, they double down and I kick out for an open 3 or if they don’t help down, I could get a bucket down low, also,” he said. “That game with Michigan State, they had heart, they played their hearts out and the way they lost was just hard. You just know that they fight each and every day.”
In the months leading up to his decision, Thomas updated Steve Jones of the Louisville Courier-Journal on where his decision was leading up to the April McDonald’s All-American game. He stated that he had not heard from both Syracuse and Kentucky since January, and Indiana was recruiting him the hardest. “They send me a ton of damn letters,” Bryant said when talking about how Indiana had been recruiting him lately.
He committed to play at Indiana University on April 4th, 2015. On April 22nd, 2015, Thomas Bryant signed his national letter of intent to play for Tom Crean and the Hoosiers. He was Tom Crean’s fifth straight player to be recruited as a McDonald’s All-American.
Thomas Bryant on signing with the Indiana Hoosiers
“I just wanted to come here and be on TV and say that I’m committing to Indiana to play college basketball next year,” Bryant said. “I’m very excited. I’ve been thinking about this long and hard, I’ve been talking it over with my mom and coaches. We just felt like being at Indiana was the best decision for me.”
Thomas Bryant’s Seasons with the Hoosiers
27-8 (15-3 Big Ten)
🏅 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
18-16 (7-11 Big Ten)
🏅 NIT First Round
Indiana University Career Statistics
(Source: Indiana University Athletics)
Thomas Bryant’s Indiana University Basketball Career
Thomas Bryant joined the Indiana Hoosiers in 2015. Although no seniors had left the season prior, there was some roster turnover. Players like Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Emmitt Holt, Stanford Robinson, and Jeremiah April were not on the team anymore due to varying circumstances, and many fans were excited about the incoming class of recruits. In hindsight, Tom Crean’s recruiting Class of 2015 was a huge success with NBA players Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby (Jefferson City, MO) in the NBA and Juwan Morgan (Waynesville, MO) making his way to the NBA. Bryant was a welcome sight for Hoosiers fans as they had lost much of their front court from the season prior, and Thomas was able to come in and make an impact on Day 1.
During his freshman year, Thomas was immediately thrust into the starting center position for the Indiana Hoosiers. In a position that was previously occupied by Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh, Bryant was trying to bring back energy to a position that may have been lacking the season prior. His skill, high energy, and motor gave the Hoosiers a strong presence down low, as Thomas had an uncharacteristically good season in terms of field goal percentage. The way Thomas Bryant played was uncharacteristic for a traditional Center, but it was the way the league was starting to evolve. Someone who can put his back to the basket, defend down low, but also be mobile enough to step outside and shoot the ball every once in a while.
Thomas started the season off by scoring 39 points in his first three games. In the third game, a blowout game against Creighton at home, he posted 17 points along with 4 blocks as his raw energy not only filled the arena, but filled his teammates as they fed off of his energy. Although this energy could be troublesome at times, he was able to learn how to harness that energy and use it to the fullest, as he helped lead the Hoosiers to win the Big Ten outright.
Thomas played and started in all 35 games his freshman season, as he averaged 11.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and shot the ball from the field at 68.3% on the season. In addition to his accolades, Bryant’s 68.3% field goal percentage led the Big Ten. He scored in double figures in 23 games while scoring 20 or more points twice and registering two double-doubles. The team won the Big Ten outright in the 2015-2016 season on their way to a Sweet-Sixteen NCAA Tournament run. During that run, the Hoosiers were able to play the Kentucky Wildcats in the Round of 32, as Bryant registered 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting, five rebounds, two steals, and a block. The loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels had Bryant emotional, and decided to come back to Indiana for his sophomore season.
Thomas Bryant’s second and final year did not go as most Hoosier fans had hoped. The Hoosiers went from making it to the Sweet Sixteen to losing in the first round of the NIT, but it did not stop Bryant from trying to ensure he would get drafted in the upcoming NBA draft. His minutes went up from the previous year when Yogi Ferrell was running the team, and his usage rate increased. His point total and rebound rate also increased, but his elite shooting percentage fell to 51.9%. Bryant and the team both suffered from the loss of players like Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams who both went onto play in the NBA.
As teams were able to double-team Bryant more and focus on him as a threat, his level of play seemed to decrease compared to his outstanding freshman season. Many statistics increased as his minutes went up, but one particular statistic stood out as he was trying to find ways to impress NBA scouts. Thomas was known for being able to step out and hit an open 3-pointer, and his accuracy went up to 38.3% from beyond the arc during his sophomore season. To many fans, the firing of coach Tom Crean after the 2016-2017 season was over seemed to help aid his decision to remain in the NBA draft after the Hoosier team lost in the first round of the NIT Tournament, and teammate OG Anunoby was remaining in the draft as well.
Thomas Bryant’s High School (Bishop Kearney/Huntington Prep High School) Career
Thomas Bryant played at two different high schools during his high school career. He played for three seasons at Bishop Kearney High School in Irondequoit, New York and two seasons at Huntington Prep High School in Huntington, West Virginia. During his 8th grade season at Bishop Kearney, Bryant was on the JV team before being called up to Varsity to help during the Section V Tournament. The team would win three consecutive Section V titles, and during his sophomore season he helped lead his team to to a 17-8 overall record and win the 2013 New York Class AA State Title. He then transferred to Huntington Prep and played on the AAU team, Team SCAN.
During his senior year at Huntington prep, he played for head coach Arkell Bruce and was named team MVP at the Derby Festival Basketball Classic. He played alongside players like Miles Bridges, and guided the team to the semifinals of the Dick’s High School Invitational. Huntington Prep finished the 2014-2015 season with an overall record of 31-3, which set a new school record for wins. This record amount of wins includes when previous teams had players like Gorgui Dieng and Andrew Wiggins on the team. Bryant averaged 17.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks per game during his senior season. He was recruited by schools such as Indiana, Syracuse, Kentucky, and UCLA.
Thomas Bryant’s Career after IU
Los Angeles Lakers and South Bay Lakers (2017-2018)
After leaving Indiana University in 2017, Thomas Bryant was drafted by the Utah Jazz on June 22nd, 2017 in the NBA Draft. He was selected as the 12th pick in the 2nd Round and the the 42nd overall. He was later traded, along with the 30th pick, Josh Hart, to the Los Angeles Lakers for the Lakers 28th pick, Tony Bradley. Thomas signed his two-year rookie contract with the Lakers on July 30th, 2017.
During his rookie season (2017-2018), Thomas Bryant went back and forth between the Los Angeles Lakers and their G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers. He played 15 games for Los Angeles (started zero) and played 37 games for South Bay. During his limited time in the NBA, Thomas averaged 4.8 minutes per game. He scored an average 1.5 points per game, which totaled to 22 on the season. He had 17 total rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 turnovers.
His G League play was much different. As Thomas was able to play many games, he received valuable playing time to help him develop. In his 37 games, he averaged 30.7 minutes per game. He was averaging 19.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. He continued his effective field goal percentage, shooting 59.5% from the field and 36.4% from beyond the arc.
Washington Wizards (2018-2019)
After the 2017-2018 season was over, the Los Angeles Lakers were in full make-over as they brought in LeBron James during free agency. To make room, they had to completely redo their roster, leaving only a handful of players on the team. Thomas Bryant was waived by the Lakers on June 30th, 2018. He was quickly snatched up by the Washington Wizards, claiming him off of waivers on July 2nd, 2018, two days later. That same season, the Wizards drafted Troy Brown Jr. out of Oregon, and both he and Bryant were the intriguing young players going into Summer League and the start of the season. Many Wizards fans did not know who Thomas Bryant was, but quickly became impressed as he went through Summer League and played a few games for the Wizards.
Thomas Bryant was not established in the NBA yet, and the beginning of the 2018-2019 season was quiet for him. The Wizards had brought in Dwight Howard after trading long-time center, Marcin Gortat. With the new acquisition and the old pieces of John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards started the season in “win-now” mode and Bryant was not going to see many minutes on the court. He played a total of 31 minutes in the first 16 games for the Wizards, which averages to just under 2 minutes per game. Everything changed, however, when the Wizards received news that starting center, Dwight Howard would be out for 2-3 months for a gluteal injury.
Just four days prior to the tipoff of the Wizards and Clippers on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018, Thomas was playing his first game with the Wizards G-League affiliate team, the Capital City Go-Go‘s. The Indiana and Wizards fanbase thought that this year, for Thomas Bryant, might turn into much of how his rookie season went. Hours before that Tuesday game tipped off, Scott Brooks, Washington Wizards’ head coach, announced that Bryant was called up from the G-League and now starting against the Wizards old center, Marcin Gortat.
Bryant immediately played the most minutes he had ever played in an NBA game, and impressed his teammates with how he stepped up, and stepped up so quickly. Following that game, #13 started 53 out of 66 games that season. He went from averaging 1.94 minutes per game in his first 16 games, to averaging 22.18 minutes per game in the final 66. He also played 35 minutes or more in eight games on the season. Thomas was able to take advantage of injuries to Dwight Howard and John Wall, and make the most of his NBA emergence.
Thomas Bryant was not just a fresh face to an injury-ridden team, he was able to produce at a historic level. On December 22nd, 2018, Thomas Bryant, a player who was very recently playing in the G-League, made NBA history. The Wizards were playing the Phoenix Suns that Saturday evening, and they were playing without stars John Wall and Bradley Beal. In a Triple Overtime victory for the Wizards, Thomas Bryant logged his most minutes, points, and rebounds of his NBA career to that point. He scored 31 points, but in doing so, did not miss one shot. He went 14-14 from the field, and made 3-3 free throws. He is only the 5th player in NBA history to make that many field goals in a row, with only the all-time great, Wilt Chamberlain, making more consecutive shots.
Thomas Bryant finished the season with a Washington Wizards franchise record for field goal percentage (61.6%). He also led the entire NBA in two-point percentage for that season. Overall, Thomas Bryant averaged 20.8 minutes per game for the 2018-2019 season. He averaged 10.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.9 blocks per game in his second season as a professional.
Thomas Bryant Professional Career Summary
- 2017-2018 Season: Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and South Bay Lakers (NBA Development League)
- 2018-Present Season: Washington Wizards
Thomas Bryant Jerseys
Thomas Bryant Indiana University Jerseys
Thomas Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Jerseys
Thomas Bryant Washington Wizards Jerseys
Thomas Bryant Videos and Highlights
Highlights as an Indiana Hoosier
Highlights in High School (Huntington Prep)
Highlights in the NBA
Interviews and Other Videos of Thomas Bryant
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