CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Troopers identified the driver who died in a crash Wednesday on I-77 in Huntsville as Rudy Bryant. Bryant owned a semi-pro basketball team in the area and his players are now remembering what a generous person he was and how much he cared about helping the community.
“It turned into more than basketball, him also being a big brother to me, being a mentor to me,” said Bobby Scriven, one of the players on the Gastonia-based team, the Charlotte Snipers.
Scriven is just one player of several who said Bryant felt like family.
“I always called him a clown, besides basketball there weren’t too many times I saw him serious," said Scriven.
His players described him as selfless, often times doing what was best for the team instead of thinking of himself. Other team owners and coaches in the east coast-based league said Bryant loved basketball, but was a part of the league to mentor young athletes and help bring the community together.
“I’d want people to know how important it was to him and his teammates,” said Chris Thomas, who is a part of East Coast League Basketball. “For a lot of guys it was, ‘What can I do for myself?’ And Rudy definitely wasn’t like that.”
Bryant was not only dedicated to the community, but to his players as well.
“He always let me know, ‘I’m always one call away, if you need me make sure you pick up the phone and call me,’” said Scriven.