BAY MINETTE, Ala. – There was big news from the Alabama coast last week for a former Fairview standout. After his teammates and coaches set up a surprise for him last Thursday, Bryson Fletcher was awarded an athletic scholarship with the Sun Chiefs of Coastal Alabama Community College. Fletcher joined the team as a walk-on after graduating from Fairview in 2018.
Bryson described the scene where he and his team were getting ready for their next opponent and he was hit with a very pleasant surprise.
“It was right before we went to play Wallace at Selma and we were all in the gym joking around on the microphone and everything. I was shooting free throws and I heard one of my teammates come over the PA system and said, “Bryson Fletcher, how would you like to be on scholarship?” at first I thought they were just messing with me because I didn’t see my head coach standing beside him,” Fletcher said. “I was like, ‘you’re joking’ and then coach held up a pen. It was awesome, I was just so excited and I know I’ve worked hard since I’ve been here so coach giving me that made me feel like I’m doing what I need to do and I don’t need to stop now.”
Fletcher is enjoying his college basketball career, thanking his teammates, coaches and fans for the support. The Sun Chiefs lost back to back games going into Tuesday night’s matchup with Lurleen B. Wallace, but Bryson was confident they would bounce back.
“I’ve got great teammates, great friends and great coaches. I wouldn’t trade my coaches for anything, and the atmosphere is great with my friends here. At our home games, we have the best fans in the southern division and the best in the conference,” Fletcher said. “So, I love playing here. I’m so glad to be here. We’re 10-5 and in kind of a slump right now but we’re coming out of it for sure. We’ll just come together and we’ll be alright.”
Coastal Alabama rolled the Saints 93-58 later that night.
Former Aggies Head Coach Branch Whitlock was not as surprised as Bryson to hear the news. Whitlock has seen Fletcher’s work ethic first-hand and knew he was capable of accomplishing this.
“Bryson is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached. He has always competed at the highest level. It comes as no surprise that he has worked his way into a scholarship. He is a coach’s dream,” Whitlock said. “He comes from a great family and has a strong faith in God. I’m sure his belief in himself never changes because his faith in God never wavered.”
Whitlock got to see Fletcher’s development as a player up close and saw him rise to meet whatever competition he faced in his time with the Aggies, particularly his senior season.
“We made the best run Fairview’s boys have made in a while during his senior year when we beat defending state champion Mae Jemison and then played Wenonah at Wallace in the Regionals,” Whitlock said. “We gave Wenonah fits in that game. Bryson probably played his best three or four games of the season at the end against the best competition. That’s when I knew for sure he could play college basketball.”
“It just made me feel so blessed. The first people I called were my mom and dad,” Fletcher said. “They were excited too, my brother was excited of course and coach just told me that, ‘This wasn’t given, it was earned. You earned this.’. It was just an awesome moment. I’m so blessed.”
Fletcher and the Sun Chiefs will travel to take on Coastal Alabama – North Thursday night at 7:30.
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