Just like his name suggests, Bryce Beamer is enjoying the ride.
"It’s been overwhelming," said the Sickles senior shooting guard after winning the Class 8A State basketball championship. "Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s sunk in yet."
Sickles is the first Hillsborough County public school to win a state basketball title in 35 years. The team is celebrating big time with a pep rally on Friday.
They will be guests of honor at a Yankees spring training game next week.
Sickles beat Lincoln 51-45 last Saturday at the Lakeland Center.
Beamer scored a game high 15 points. The biggest three coming off a fourth quarter and-one with a 44-42 lead. The play essentially sealed the first state crown in Sickles history.
"Just really exciting ‘cause I mean the time was winding down with a minute left," said Beamer about the three-point play. "To come up with that kind of shot was kinda like the nail in the coffin."
"He’s that guy and I wasn’t surprised at all to see him put that ball in," said head coach Renaldo Garcia, who also claimed his first state title as a head coach. "Just to see his excitement. I watched it at my house last night. I kept rewinding it. Just seeing his excitement felt so good."
It felt even better once the clock hit zero.
“After the buzzer went off everyone was just ecstatic," said Beamer. "Before all that happened I went over to Garcia and gave him a hug."
"He’s a hugger and I’m not so much," said Garcia. "Sometimes he does it because he knows I’m not really a hugger, but on that day I wanted to hug him back."
Garcia motivated his team all year by a bare wall.
A historic banner will now fill that void forever.
"You can come back 10-20 years later and say to your family, ‘you put that up there,'" said Beamer.
"I mean he’s a coach’s dream," Garcia said of his senior shooting guard. "We’re really gonna miss him here at Sickles."
Beamer has D-I interest from USF, FGCU and Murray State to name a few.
He will attend Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia next fall. The prep school will help him to mature physically before committing to any major college.