By UTA Public Relations Student, Maddison Adkins
ARLINGTON, Texas - Sophomore DJ Bryant wants to use the spotlight of being a UT Arlington men's basketball student-athlete to make a difference.
Born and raised in Sarasota, Fla., throughout Bryant's life helping his community has been close to his heart.
In high school, he spent his free time volunteering with children ages three to eight, teaching and coaching them on how to develop their skills in basketball. At his high school, Riverview, he was the president of Fellowship Christian Academy (FCA), and he continues to be a part of FCA at UTA.
At UTA, Bryant is studying marketing and business. He is also working on getting his real estate license. He hopes to take basketball as far as he can go, but he is also excited to one day to own and operate a business.
Faith is very important to Bryant. His favorite part of the morning is when he takes a moment, listens to gospel music, and reads his daily devotion. One of his favorite gospel artists is Kirk Franklin.
"My father always told me to use basketball, don't let basketball use you," Bryant said.
Bryant plans to use basketball to glorify God and not be consumed by the glory. His jersey number, No. 2, is very fitting for Bryant, because he is constantly putting others first, and himself second.
"My life verse is Ephesians 3:20-21," Bryant said. "I have it hanging in my room and it just reminds me to put things in perspective. I try not to compare myself to others, I just try to better myself each and every day and be thankful for everything I have been blessed with."
Bryant says he misses his parents and siblings in Florida, but he is surrounded by his family here in Texas. Which he is very thankful for, because there is no way he could survive without his Pops' cornbread.
"When I can't make it to my Pop's house, I go to my favorite place here in Arlington, Jamaican Gates," Bryant said.
Bryant also has cousins locally that he is able to mentor to and be there for their sporting events. His cousins are also his biggest cheerleaders at the games -- just look for the girls showing off their dance moves.
Bryant likes to keep things in perspective. That is why faith, family, and, sometimes, cornbread come first.
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