USBL gives Bryant another option

Sunday, April 18, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:37 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Even if he doesn’t make the NBA, Travon Bryant has a future in basketball.

Thanks, in large part, to a stellar senior season, Bryant attracted the attention of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, of the USBL. The River Rapids drafted the rights to Bryant with the 32nd pick Tuesday.

Bryant, though, remains optimistic about the possibility to make the NBA, a Missouri representative said Saturday. He also said the USBL has not contacted Bryant. The NBA Draft is June 24 in New York.

Bryant and other Tigers hope to attend predraft camp

In addition, Bryant remains hopeful for another opportunity to impress NBA scouts and general managers. The invitations for the NBA predraft camp in Chicago, which will occur June 8-11, have not been released.

Fellow seniors Rickey Paulding and Arthur Johnson also hope to attend the camp in Chicago.

Bryant, a 6-foot-9 forward from Long Beach, Calif., started all 30 of Missouri’s games this season and often played more than a complimentary role. A well-rounded game allowed Bryant to average career highs in scoring with 10.6 and rebounding with 6.6. Bryant also blocked a career-high 45 shots and made a team-high 41 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Bryant set his career high for scoring on Dec. 23 against Illinois when he had 19 in the Tigers’ 71-70 loss.

The River Raiders viewed the Big 12 Conference as a solid source of big men, for they drafted three players from the conference. With the first pick in the draft, they selected Baylor’s R.T. Guinn, and they made Jackson Vroman, of Iowa State, their second pick and 22nd overall before drafting Bryant.

Bryant went 2-1 in this season’s competition against Vroman and Guinn. Bryant had 11 points and 14 rebounds in two games against Vroman and the Cyclones. Vroman, meanwhile, had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Bryant and Vroman played on the Norfolk, Va., Sports Club during the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Camp, an NBA pre-draft camp April 7-10. The invitation-only camp provides 64 seniors the forum to impress NBA scouts and general managers.

In the Tigers’ 70-66 win at Baylor on Feb. 19, Bryant excelled, making 5-of-7 shots and grabbing six rebounds. Guinn scored 15 points, mostly from the perimeter, in the game.

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