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By Gabriel Stovall
McDONOUGH, Ga. — Bryant Roseberry just won back-to-back state basketball championships with Creekside Academy in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association. So obviously you’d think that’s the highlight of his career, right?
The championships were great, yes. Creekside’s dominance caused Roseberry to refer to his squad as “the Jonesboro of the GIACC.”
But if you want to see him light up about a top moment in his high school career, give him the opportunity to push rewind all the way back to his freshman season.
“The highlight of my career,” he repeats the question. “Man, probably my first buzzer beater in the ninth grade.”
He not only replays the moment, but he resets the scene. It was double overtime against Creekside rival Community Christian. Roesberry had been playing sick, and quite frankly, he was getting tired of playing in that game.
The Cougars were down by two points as the point guard pushed the ball down the court, and instead of driving to the basket to force another overtime, Roseberry decided to take the outcome of the game fully in his hands.
“I pulled up and knocked down a 3-pointer in transition,” he said proudly. “I decided that that game was going to end on that shot, one way or another.”
It ended the right way for him and for Creekside, much like his senior season and basketball career did after the Cougars’ defeated Central Fellowship Christian Academy 59-32 two Saturdays ago to capture its second straight title.
And for Roseberry, the second time around was more of a savory experience because of the rigor involved in the Cougars’ championship run this season.
“Last year we won it, and I was just so happy we won,” he said. “I just was happy because I felt like I accomplished something. But I’d say this year was sweet because we’re working against everybody’s best game. Everyone was going to out and try their best to hit us in the mouth.”
And he means that literally.
Roseberry believes he took more hard shots and absorbed more physicality from the opposition than the other three years of his career combined. It was to be expected, he said.
“You see that people are more physical with us,” he said. “They were just hitting us every chance they got, and they wanted to win so bad, you could tell by the way they pushed the tempo and the contact. In times past, I’d be able to drive the lane and kick the ball out without anything happening. This year, if I drive the lane, I feel every elbow hitting me every time.”
But the senior knew it was coming, and that caused him to be more prepared to help his team push past it.
“I take full responsibility for getting my team through,” he said. “We can’t let a few elbows control who we are. We play our game. That’s what it comes down to ultimately. Before every game, I told them this was what to expect. (Other teams) were going to give us their best, so why not we go out and give them our best.”
That kind of leadership from Roseberry is nothing new for Creekside coach Burton Uwarow. Uwarow calls Roseberry one of his “top character guys” responsible for setting the tone of mental toughness for his team.
“He’s been in this program for the last four years, so he’s just been the glue that sticks us together,” Uwarow said. “He’s just a real solid kid and a smart player. He knows how to make us go.”
Roseberry’s stats both in and out of the classroom attest to that. The 6-foot-2 senior averaged 10 points, 16 assists and 13 rebounds this season. Yes, you read that right. A triple double per night.
In the classroom he sports a 3.8 grade point average. He’s drawing attention from Morehouse College, along with “several other smaller schools,” and has aspirations of studying business or industrial design in college.
“I want to be either an appraiser like my father, or an architect,” he said.
But first, he wants to continue relishing in what he’s helped build at Creekside on the basketball court, as well as the life lessons he learned while there.
“At first, you know, I felt like with me it was just about what do I get from my team,” he said. “But over these past few years I’ve realized it’s not about what you get from your team, but what you’re willing to give for them. How you do anything is how you do everything. We know we’re trying to build a dynasty here, and so to do that you can’t take a day off in practice. If you take a day off in practice, you’ll take a day off in life. I’ve learned in everything to give it your best.”
Take a peek at Roseberry’s hoops highlight reel: