By Tom Ballato
Darryl “Truck” Bryant’s roots in New York basketball run deep. The 6-foot-2 point guard was born in Brooklyn, New York, played alongside and against talented ballplayers, and realized basketball could take him places.
Bryant played middle school basketball at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Harlem, New York. At Mount Carmel, Bryant played with Russ Smith, Dorvell Carter, Lamont Jones, and Malcolm Pope; all were top players in New York. His journey started at Mount Carmel, and he realized the opportunities basketball could give him.
He also grew up playing for the New York Gauchos, a historic AAU program in New York, and his jersey hanging in the gym. Bryant played with Kemba Walker and Jordan Theodore on the Gauchos and later played against them in the Big East, which he enjoyed.
In high school, he starred at St. Raymond’s in The Bronx, where he became St. Raymond’s all-time leading scorer but later had his record broken by Isaiah Washington. Bryant established himself as a top-three floor general in New York City.
Bryant committed to play at West Virginia while Pittsburgh, South Carolina, South Florida, St. John’s, Illinois, Memphis, and Rhode Island all showed interest. “It was a hall of fame coach in Bob Huggins. That made the decision easier, and it was also only six hours from New York. I know my mother loves coming to every game, so I didn’t want to go too far,” Bryant said about his decision to go to West Virginia.
The Big East was the best conference in college basketball, and Bryant did a great job transitioning from high school to college. As a freshman, he needed to earn every minute and appeared in 35 games.
In 2010, West Virginia won the Big East Tournament in New York City, a memorable accomplishment in Bryant’s career as a New York native. West Virginia made a run to the Final Four that season also.
His career ended at West Virginia with 1,590 points scored, 388 assists, 318 rebounds, and 117 steals, and he found himself headed overseas.
He went undrafted but had the opportunity to work out for some NBA teams. Bryant found himself headed overseas. Coming out of college, playing overseas was different, according to Bryant. “There’s language barriers, food, and how you’re going to eat, and you have to get lucky with vets (veterans) on your team. I had a few vets on the team, and now I’m the vet, but it’s definitely a culture shock,” Bryant said.
The overseas basketball grind has taken Bryant to Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Finland, Qatar, Bulgaria, Georgia, Uraguay, and the Dominican Republic. All of these opportunities have been a blessing for Bryant because he gets paid to do what he loves.
Bryant is the “hired assassin,” and teams bring him in to score and win games. He’s won a scoring title in the Czech Republic in 2015 and three championships overseas (Findland in 2017, Bulkan League, and Bulgarian League Championships).
Bryant last played in April of 2019, but after a long layoff, he signed with Shahrdari Bandar Abbass of the Iranian Superleague in January. Through five games, he is averaging 17.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.
Iran is a beautiful country, and Bryant is enjoying his time there. He had other overseas opportunities, but when he found out his friend Malcolm Grant plays in Iran, Bryant jumped on the chance to play against him.
Bryan has a podcast called “The Truck Bryant Show,” where he has NBA, former NBA, and overseas basketball players talk and share their stories. It all started when Bryant would go on Instagram Live with NBA players, and about having 25-40 athletes live, the podcast started.
Bryant returns to Morgantown, West Virginia, each off-season and works out in the West Virginia facilities. West Virginia has an alumni locker room in the facility, so alumni spend time with the program.
When his career is over, Bryant has expressed interest in real estate. Coaching is another option on his mind, but at 30 years old, there’s still a lot of basketball left in him.