Photo by Derrick Mahone
Former Drew High standout Brandon Clyde recently signed a scholarship to play basketball at Miles College in Birmingham.
RIVERDALE — As Brandon Clyde begin his tryouts with the Miles College basketball team, it had a familiar feel.
The style of play for the Div. II program, which is located in Fairfield, Ala., just outside of Birmingham was suited for his game.
After returning home, the former Drew High standout received a scholarship offer. He immediately jumped on the opportunity to play for Golden Bears program, which is coached by third-year coach Will Cotchery.
“It just felt like home being on the court there,” Clyde said. “Their skill type is athletic and fast. I feel like I can fit in with them.”
Clyde had an offer from Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee, but wanted the opportunity to play at a four-year college.
The 6-foot-1 Clyde is known for his electrifying dunks. But he hopes to expand his game as he moves to the college level.
Clyde said he has been working on his strength, ball-handling skills and outside shooting. He will likely play the point guard position on the next level.
Last season, the Golden Bears finished 9-17 overall in the West division of the 13-team conference, which includes Atlanta schools Clark Atlanta and Morehouse.
“I’ll get to play at home some being in this conference,” Clyde said. “I was pretty happy with that opportunity.”
Drew coach Jarrod Davis, who is a Birmingham native, said Clyde should be a good fit for the program.
“He is so athletic,” Davis said. “He has always persevere and met every challenge that we put before him. He likes to be pushed and challenged.”
And Davis said that a bright future is ahead for the talented player.
“If he goes in and do what is asked, he can be an all-conference player before he leaves,” Davis said. “He has a motor that just want stop.”
Last season, he averaged 13 points, four steals and seven rebounds for the Titans. But a wrist injury near the end of the season, sidelined him for the Region 4-AAAAA tournament.
With Clyde gone, the Titans failed to make the state tournament.
He said he is fully heal and has been working in the weight room to get stronger for the next level.
“He realizes now that he will be playing against stronger and bigger people each game,” Davis said. “He is sharpening his mental aspect for college and life.”
Clyde said he is seeing some improvement in his perimeter game, and will work extremely hard the next two months to get ready.
“I want to become a better shooter,” he said. “I want to be known for more than being a dunker, but I still want to take it to the hole strong.”