Bryce Homer Drew (born September 21, 1974 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is the associate coach, and former member, of the Valparaiso University Crusader men's Basketball team. His father, Homer Drew, currently serves as the head coach of the men's basketball team, and his brother Scott Drew is the head coach of Baylor University's men's basketball team after having served 9 years as assistant coach at Valparaiso and one year as head coach. Bryce Drew is best known for his buzzer-beating shot in the first round of Valparaiso's improbable run in the 1998 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
High school careerEdit
After having been exposed to basketball for years through his father's head coaching position, Bryce played basketball as the point guard for Valparaiso High School in Valparaiso, Indiana. As he progressed through high school though, Drew developed a rapid heartbeat, which required three surgeries to repair. Despite this difficulty, he led his team to the state final game, and was named Indiana's Mr. Basketball of 1994.
Though recruited by dozens of schools, Drew eventually decided to attend Valparaiso University, then a member of the Mid-Continent Conference, for men's basketball. In his four years playing, Drew collected dozens of honors and records, including being ranked in the top 15 nationally in 3-point field goal and free throw percentage and leading the team to three consecutive conference regular season and tournament championships. He also collected three conference tournament MVP awards, two conference MVP awards, and is Valparaiso's all-time scoring, 3-point field goal, and assist leader.
All of this paled in comparison to the March Madness that ensued during his senior year in the 1998 NCAA Tournament. In the Midwest Region, 13-seed Valparaiso was facing 4-seed Ole Miss in the first round. Valparaiso was down 67-69 with 4.1 seconds remaining in the game and Mississippi's Ansu Sesay at the free throw line. After Sesay missed both shots, the Crusaders came up with possession -- 94 feet from their basket, and with only 2.5 seconds remaining in the game. On the inbound, the Crusaders used a play known as the Pacer. Jamie Sykes inbounded to Bill Jenkins (basketball), who passed the ball to a practically unguarded Bryce Drew. Then, as time expired, Drew released a 23-foot 3-point shot, giving him his 22nd point of the night, and clinching the Crusaders' 70-69 upset and advancing them in the tournament. "The Shot" is seen each year on CBS during "March Madness" and is considered one of the top moments in NCAA history. Drew proceeded to lead the defeat of 12-seeded Florida State University 83-77 in overtime, with a 22-point game. Drew and the Crusaders finally fell to 8-seeded University of Rhode Island by a score of 74-68, with Drew scoring only 18 points. Sports Illustrated would rank it the #5 sports moment of 1998, and Drew secured his place as a Valparaiso, Indiana celebrity along with popcorn guru Orville Redenbacher.
Following his rise to fame in the tournament, Drew was selected as Valpo's first ever first round pick as the 16th selection of the 1998 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. After playing with the Rockets for two years, Drew spent one season with the Chicago Bulls, and signed as a Free agent for three seasons with the New Orleans Hornets (Charlotte Hornets during his first season with the team). Drew was then waived by the Hornets, and played professionally for the Valencia BC for a year.
Return to ValpoEdit
In the summer of 2005, Drew was selected as the new assistant coach of the Valparaiso University men's basketball team. In 2006, Bryce was elevated to the position of associate coach, furthering speculation that he will eventually inherit the head coaching position upon his father's retirement.
Drew is the brother-in-law of former University of Toledo and Philadelphia 76ers basketball player, Casey Shaw. Drew's sister Dana is Shaw's wife.
Drew's wife, formerly Tara Thibodeaux, was a professional Cheerleader of the Atlanta Hawks. Tara is the daughter of former TV star Keith Thibodeaux who is better known as "Little Ricky" on the TV series I Love Lucy.