What Happens in Vegas: Spotlight on Bryson Andrews

Lessons from the Las Vegas Classic basketball tournament


DJ Murrell

Bryson Andrews in Las Vegas

Allison MacLeod, Associate Editor

For Bryson Andrews, Class of 2019, only his family, religion and schoolwork come before his love of basketball, and this passion granted him a noteworthy opportunity over the summer. As a member of the Boston-based Amateur Athletic Union team All For One (AFO), Andrews traveled to Las Vegas in July to compete in the Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Classic. The annual tournament draws basketball teams from around the country and the world to compete against each other and gives college coaches the opportunity to scout for potential recruits.

Traveling to Las Vegas with his teammates was “an adventure,” Andrews said. It was his second time making the trip, having competed in the tournament the year before as well. Not a single moment was boring because the trip “was full of laughter and good times.”

Playing against teams from across the country was a valuable experience. “There’s always someone who’s better than you,” Andrews said. “It was an awakening to us that we aren’t the only players to play the game.” Just as importantly, it reminded them to enjoy every minute on the court.

AFO rose to the top 20 but lost in the top 16 of the bracket. Andrews recognizes that “as any player or team would say, we could’ve done little things better,” but overall, he is very proud of his hardworking team. Describing his teammates as “brothers,” he “couldn’t ask for anything more from those guys,” Andrews said. “Just a great team full of great players.”

Despite his satisfaction with AFO’s performance, losing in the tournament was still “miserable.” He acknowledges, however, that “losing teaches you lessons that winning doesn’t. It also builds character and builds your toughness.”

As a team captain in Las Vegas, Andrews also learned how to be a leader. He considers a strong leader a hallmark of every successful team and will apply his new leadership abilities this winter as a member of the Abington High School basketball team. Additionally, participating in the tournament further strengthened his basketball skills. “I learned how to be more patient and take my time while playing,” Andrews said. “Also to be more efficient while playing.”

After he graduates high school, Andrews hopes to continue playing basketball through college. Though his long-term goal is to play professionally, his love for the game extends far deeper than an NBA jersey; no matter what the future holds, Andrews would “still love to play ball outside as a hobby or even teach it to other kids.” That desire to share his passion with others is the mark of a real love for the game.