Dick Bryant


Year Inducted:






Dick Bryant







Team History:

Carolina Tarwheels and the Music City Lightning



NWBA Service:

NWBA Commissioner of the NWBA 2003-present



Sports Biography:

In his first venture into the world of competitive athletics, Dick Bryant excelled in the sport of wrestling where he was a two-time North Carolina High School State Champion while competing as a double amputee against able-bodied athletes. During his senior season, he was named the outstanding wrestler at the state championship meet. He started playing basketball in 1970 as a founding member of the Carolina Tarwheels wheelchair basketball team. Two years later he helped start the Carolina Wheelchair Basketball Conference. He was the first conference president from 1972-74.

As a wheelchair basketball player, he proved to be among the quickest and strongest players in the NWBA during the 1970s and 1980s while competing for the Carolina Tarwheels and the Music City Lightning. The expression turning on a dime barely describes Dick's ability to handle a wheelchair as he consistently attacked opponent's often slower defenders. Bryant earned 17 all-conference and all-tournament awards from 1972 through 1985. He competed in eight NWBT Final Fours, winning one title in 1978 with Music City.

In the 1978 NWBT played in Cleveland, Music City lost to Detroit, then to the championship Capital (Sacramento) Cagers. Bryant scored 10 and 12 points in these matches, proof of his productivity in the NWBA's highest level of competition which was recognized by his selection to the all-tournament team. Bryant also won Gold at the 1978 Pan-Am Games.

In the championship game of the 31st NWBT (1979), he scored 12 points in a narrow 56-55 loss to the great Detroit Sparks, a team replete with outstanding 1-on-1 defenders. His performance in that tournament led to his selection on the all-tournament first team.

At the 1982 NWBT played in Minneapolis, he scored 14 points in Music City's semi-final loss to Detroit then contributed 8 points in a win over the Indiana Olympians in the consolation game. During the divisional era, Bryant competed in five Final Fours as the player/coach on the Division II Charlotte Hornets (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2005). The 1995 and 96 teams captured the National Championship. He was the coach of the Division III Charlotte Hornets that won the Division III Championship in 1999 and 2000.



NonSports Biography:

Bryant's claims in the non-competitor category are significant, In addition to being a founder of the Carolina Conference, he has served as, NWBA Commissioner of the NWBA 2003-2011; Division III Commissioner 1998-2001; Division III Chairman 1996-98; Carolina Conference President 1972-74.