NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Joe Bryant Jr. is running it back.
The Lake Taylor graduate announced Thursday morning on social media that he will return to Norfolk State for his final season of eligibility, giving an already-experienced Spartans team a huge boost.
Bryant has put together a storied collegiate career to date at NSU. 2021-2022 saw the guard earn MEAC Player of the Year and named Most Outstanding Player of the conference tournament. The senior was named a Lou Henson All-American and was a finalist for the Lou Henson National Player of the Year, given to the top mid-major player in the nation.
The guard averaged 16.7 points and 32.5 minutes per contest as a senior, both leading the Spartans. His free throw percentage of 91.5 was good enough to rank sixth in the country. He led NSU to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a victory over Appalachian State in the 2021 First Four. He also averaged 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists this past season.
In addition, the former Titan was also named Norfolk State's Male Athlete of the Year on Monday.
Bryant announced that he was declaring for the NBA Draft on March 31, but would be maintaining his college eligibility, giving him the option to return to Norfolk State.
The Spartans now return four starters and 11 of the 13 letterwinners from last season's squad, which should make them a clear MEAC favorite heading into 2022-2023.
During his high school days, Bryant led Lake Taylor to a state title as a senior.