Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Valparaiso University head men's basketball coach Homer Drew announced the appointment of Bryce Drew as assistant basketball coach. Bryce Drew replaces Rex Walters who became an assistant coach at Florida Atlantic University.
After a six-year NBA career and a one-year stint professionally in Europe, Drew returns to a Valpo program that he helped brand as a perennial champion from 1994-98. Drew's well-documented 23-foot shot at the buzzer defeated Mississippi in the 1998 NCAA Tournament, giving Valpo its first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament victory. ?The Shot" along with Valpo's second round win over Florida State propelled the Crusaders into the Sweet Sixteen and helped the program gain national and international prominence.
?It is truly exciting to have Bryce join our staff," Homer Drew said. ?Bryce brings to our program tremendous knowledge and understanding of the game, as well as invaluable playing experience at the professional and collegiate levels."
A two-time Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year as a junior and senior, Bryce helped Valpo to four consecutive seasons of capturing both the Mid-Con regular season and tournament championships. In his senior year of 1998, Drew was selected Third Team All-America by Basketball Times and was named First Team All-Mid-Con for the third consecutive year. Known for making crucial plays in big games from his guard position, Bryce earned Mid-Con Tournament Most Valuable Player honors three times (as a freshman in 1995, 1996 and 1998). He helped Valpo to three straight years of NCAA Tournament appearances (1996, 97, 98).
Valpo's first-ever NBA draft choice, Bryce was selected with the 16th pick of the first round in 1998 by the Houston Rockets. After playing two seasons with the Rockets, he was traded to the Chicago Bulls prior to the 2000-01 campaign. With the Bulls, Drew started 41 games, averaging career highs of 27.2 minutes, 6.3 points and 3.9 assists per game. Following the 2000-01 season, Drew was signed as a free agent by the Charlotte Hornets. He remained with the Hornets' organization when it relocated to New Orleans in 2002 and finished his NBA career with the Hornets in 2003-04. Drew resumed his career in Italy, playing a portion of the 2004-05 season for Reggio Calabria.
A member of Valparaiso University's Athletics Hall of Fame (inducted in 2003), Drew is the school's all-time scoring leader (2,142 points). He also tops Valpo's all-time charts in assists (626), 3-point field goals (364) and field goals (696). In the Mid-Con record books, Drew is the conference's all-time leader in assists and ranks second in 3-point field goals and fifth in scoring. His dramatic shot in 1998 earned an ESPY (ESPN's awards honoring top sports achievements each year) for Play of the Year.
Bryce becomes the third member of the Drew family to coach basketball at Valpo as Bryce's brother Scott served as head coach in 2002-03 after working nine years as an associate head coach/assistant. Scott has been the head men's basketball coach at Baylor University since the 2003-04 season.