SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Bryce Radford stands just 5-foot-10 and is regarded as a perimeter-minded player with a knack for doing damage behind the arc.
So you’d have to excuse the recent Woodrow Wilson graduate for his excitement level about advancing beyond the first round of the dunk contest during the skills challenge at the North-South All-Star Basketball Classic.
“Big shoutout to my personal trainer April Chapman. She’s done an awesome job,” Radford said. “I’m a 5-10 kid, competed in the dunk contest and made it past the first round. That made my day before the game even started.”
Radford played for the South during its 171-141 loss to the North at the South Charleston Community Center. He displayed the range that helped him make 76 3-pointers as a senior and showed off an offensive skill set that allowed him to average 21.7 points.
All the while, Radford got to represent the Flying Eagles for a final time and play with and against a group comparable in skill level.
“We’re all one and we all come from West Virginia,” Radford said. “We all hung out with each other. It didn’t matter if we were in blue or we were in red. We all had a blast in the hotel and we went to Cabela’s one day and found a way to have fun.”
As a senior, Radford set a single-game school scoring record with 50 points in a loss to a First Love Christian (Pa.) team filled with Division I prospects. Radford scored 24 points in the second quarter and 41 in the first half that night, which helped him garner more attention on the recruiting trail.
Radford went on to score 45 points in a game against Bluefield and had perhaps his finest highlight when he sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Beckley a 66-63 victory over George Washington in the Mountain State Athletic Conference title game.
He eventually signed with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, one of the top Division II programs in the nation. The Crimson Hawks are coming off a 30-3 season and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship.
“After the breakout game against First Love Christian, they really jumped on me hard,” Radford recalled. “It felt like home up there.
“I knew from the moment I talked to coach (Joe) Lombardi that they stood out and the whole situation worked out perfect.”
IUP loses four starters from last year’s team. That could open up an opportunity for Radford, who’s hoping to prove he belongs as a freshman.
“The biggest thing is getting my body right, because it’s a different type of physicality,” he said. “And then just making sure my shot and ball-handling are as good as they can be.”