BRADENTON -- When Tré Bryant finished his high school basketball career at Braden River in 2012, he left as one of the greatest 3-point shooters in Manatee County history.
He had a few opportunities to play in college, but couldn't find the right fit and sat out the 2012-13 season.
"I was a little worried, but I would not let that break me," Bryant said. "The year I stayed out I worked on my game. I was mainly a shooter in high school, but improved my ball-handling skills and tried to convert myself into a true point guard."
Bryant got the break he was waiting for when longtime Southeast High head coach Elliot Washington was named head coach at State College of Florida earlier this month.
Never miss a local story.
He coached against Bryant and knew the 6-foot guard was the type of player he wanted. And Bryant wanted to play in the type of system that Washington coaches.
It brought the two together this week when Bryant signed to play for SCF. He will be a freshman in eligibility.
"He can shoot the lights out of the ball," Washington said. "I knew he never stopped playing, had a great work ethic and is a good kid. I reached out to him, and it worked out. He is a solid basketball player and has all the goods."
Bryant said he had an offer from Webber International University in Babson Park and was told Edward Waters had a spot for him as a preferred walk-on. But he said neither would best utilize his ability.
"I like Coach Washington's system. He likes to fast break, kicking and driving and flashing to the basket and hitting the open man," Bryant said. "When I played against Southeast, I always liked the way they put pressure on the ball. They played a lot of man to man, and there is a lot of communication on defense."
Bryant averaged 15.4 points per game his senior season and left as the program's career 3-point leader with 137 treys. He drained 69 his senior year and averaged 2.5 steals and 2 assists per game.
Bryant was one of four players Washington signed this week.
The others are 6-4 guard Gabriel Dos Santos, a transfer from the University of Detroit, and two prep schoolers from Toronto, Canada's Athlete Institute Academy in 6-5 Mark Nugent and 6-6 Nathaniel Johnson
"Garbiel is a one-two guard originally from the Miami area who is a Division I player that can do multiple things on the court," Washington said. "Mark can play three different positions. We want fast, athletic guys, and he fits that mold. Nathaniel does a good job inside and can handle the ball."
SCF has seven players under scholarship for next year, including three returners. Washington said he is allowed to sign 12 and can have two or three walk-ons.
"It's exciting to get out and recruit. I am a little behind, but the team is shaping up," Washington said.