Sioux Falls Spotlight: Bryson Warren

Everyone has dreams in life, but few people get to live their dreams. Bryson Warren is one of those few people. Like other people growing up, Warren had dreams of being a professional basketball player. Fast forward to today, and Warren is living out that dream on the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Getting to live his dream was not by accident, it was all methodically thought out. 

Warren was a dominant player in high school. In his sophomore year, he averaged 24.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and added 2.5 steals a game. Warren would lead his team to the state title game and was named the Arkansas high school player of the year, the first sophomore ever to win the award. He was ranked the 14th player in his class at the time and had offers from many top programs around the country. This is when his path went unconventional. Instead of continuing High school basketball and then going to college, Warren decided to sign with Overtime Elite (OTE). Then after two years of OTE Warren chose to enter the G-League draft, where he was taken with the 13th overall pick by the Skyforce.

Not many players choose this route, so what was the thought process?

“I knew that going to OTE would put me in a position to play against the best competition which would allow me to get better,” Warren said. “Going against Amen and Ausar Thompson daily, who were just picked 4th and 5th in the NBA draft helped me improve my game tremendously. With a chance to be coached by Kevin Ollie, who won a National Championship and who is currently an assistant Coach with the Brooklyn Nets, is just an amazing learning experience.”

It was not about trying to be on social media or amassing followers, like other players’ motives for joining the league. It was about putting himself against the best competition he could be against, He wanted to improve his game.

Warren isn’t afraid of a challenge; he embraces it: “I realize that this is a business, so I have to give it my all every day.”  

This quote suggests the reason how Warren can live his dreams, he is obsessed with being the best player he possibly be. Talk to anyone around Warren and they all mention one thing, his work ethic. It is impossible to have a conversation about him without it being brought up. Bryson Warren’s agent, James Dunleavy, raves about his work ethic. In a 10-minute conversation, Dunleavy constantly brought up how hard Warren works. “He went to the G-League to be the best player he can be” and “He loves to work hard and be in the gym” were just two of the things that Dunleavy said. His work ethic is also clear in his play on the court. No one on the Skyforce, and maybe the whole G-League, has improved more than Warren from the start of the year. From game to game, he looks more comfortable and is showing great progress. He started the year as a guy who could knock down open threes but has blossomed into a well-rounded player. He has shown his ability to be a point guard and run an offense. The numbers back this up also as he has increased every major statistic in the regular season over his averages in the Showcase part of the season. To make it in the world of basketball you have to be willing to give it everything you have, Warren is doing just that. 

 

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Arguably more impressive than his basketball talent is the type of person Bryson Warren is. Young players tend to have an adjustment period when they make the jump to high-level professional basketball. A lot of times they do not get the playing time they are used to and are relegated to roles they aren’t used to playing. Warren was no different, but what is different is how he managed it. Some players get upset and close themselves off as the frustration mounts, but Warren continues to display his character. He prides himself on being a good teammate and celebrating their success.

When asked what it takes to be a good teammate he says, “I always try to respect, encourage and help my teammates be the best they can be, because it takes a team to win.” He is all about the team’s success and, though he has personal goals, he wants his teammates to succeed as well. A perfect example of his character is when I asked what made him proud of himself. I expected a typical answer to be about his basketball achievements and what he has been able to do on the court, but that was not the case.

He replied, “One of the things that I am proud of is being able to give back to the community. I have been blessed to be able to help sponsor boys’ and girls’ basketball teams that are named after me – Bryson Warren United. This allows me to be a positive role model in their lives and give back to the community.”

Given an opportunity to list his achievements and boast about his basketball career, he chose to highlight what he does off the court. He has more pride in how he can help others than his achievements. He also is not hesitant to recognize everyone who helped him along the way. Though he was afraid to list everyone, in case he missed someone, he wanted to let his coaches and trainers know that he was “thankful and grateful” for their help and support. Warren did list two people though. Who are the two specific people that Bryson Warren wanted to make sure were specifically mentioned? They go by the simple names of Mom and Dad. See Warren is a special player and has the chance to have an extensive career but the best part about him has nothing to do with his play on the court, and everything to do with who he is off the court. 

6 replies
  1. Dominique Savage
    Dominique Savage says:

    Great article on a great person. This young man is a great example of hard work. He has been such an inspiration. I wish him the very best of success on and off the court! Keep working 💪🏽 greater is coming.

    Reply
  2. Tony Tiller
    Tony Tiller says:

    Great article on a great young man! Bryson we are pulling for you from Atlanta and extremely proud of you my guy. Definition of PRO not just in basketball but in life. Salute to MOM and DAD!

    Reply
  3. Marcus Hatley
    Marcus Hatley says:

    Great article on an awesome player. Bryson Warren is a great representation of what it takes to be successful professionally in a highly competitive environment.

    Reply

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