Bernard Bryant

Bernard "Zeke" Bryant


Zeke Bryant (1948)

Bernard 'Zeke' Bryant won six varsity letters (two in each football, track, and basketball) at Champaign. In 1946 he was a standout performer on the Maroons' (9-0) undefeated football team. The highlight of his prep days came in 1947 when he scored 11 touchdowns and was chosen a News Gazette All-State fullback for his part on a team that finished with an 8-1 record. In track, he was a fine broad jumper, disc man and competed on an 880-relay team as a junior which placed in the state meet. Zeke also placed fourth in the broad jump in the 1947 state finals. The highlight of his basketball career was his winning basket in the Maroons' 52-51 win over Danville at Hoopeston in 1948 which sent Central into the Sweet 16 tournament for the sixth time in a string of seven straight trips. His athletic career came to an end before his sophomore year at Illinois when he broke his leg.