Sometimes someone just can’t get enough of something. A person who cherishes cars would not be opposed to talking about motor vehicles for hours on end, a person who takes great joy in writing …
Sometimes someone just can’t get enough of something. A person who cherishes cars would not be opposed to talking about motor vehicles for hours on end, a person who takes great joy in writing would find it to be a privilege to spend their down time crafting story after story, and a person who loves basketball would revel in being part of the world of sports in almost any capacity.
This is the case for former Lone Tree resident Bryan Forbes. Forbes’ affinity for basketball was always strong and he was able to continue to be a part of the sport he loves after playing college ball at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa by becoming an assistant coach for the same college.
“To be honest with you, it all started when I went to school. I think I went to college not really knowing what I wanted to do, besides I knew I wanted to play basketball,” Forbes said about how he wound up becoming a coach. “I went to Briar Cliff, I played here and I loved it. I absolutely loved college basketball. As it got to my senior year and I talked with my coaches, it really just dawned on me that I didn’t want it to be done. I never wanted to leave the game.”
Forbes, now in his fourth year as an assistant coach for Briar Cliff, was inducted into Briar Cliff’s basketball hall of fame on January 28. A four year starter from 2013-2017 he was a two-time Honorable Mention All-American and a four-time all-GPAC honoree.
“There were always ups and downs and anybody knows how that goes,” Forbes said about his college basketball playing experience. “My freshman year we struggled and I wasn’t really expecting to come in and play and start right away, but we had a young group of guys that came in together and it was one of the more special things I’ve ever been a part of, to be honest with you.”
“We played a lot of young guys and for a lot of us it was our first time playing in this conference, which is an unbelievable conference. It was an up and down year and then that kind of led us into the next three years. We made the national tournament my sophomore, junior and senior year, and won the conference my junior and senior year. From freshman to senior year, it was all the same guys going through the same things. And so that’s a special group of dudes that are honestly family to me at this point because we’ve been through it all.”
When his playing career for the BCU Chargers ended, Forbes finished with: 1,729 points (12th all time), 808 rebounds (9th), 132 games played (2nd), 522 free throws made (2nd), 101 blocks (4th), 203 steals (5th), and 213 three-pointers (9th).
The 2015-16 team Forbes was a part of earned a 32-4 record, which set a school record for wins and wins in a row (18). Forbes led that record breaking team in rebounds, steals, blocks, and was second in scoring.
“It’s just a complete honor because I know what this program has had in the past. There’s a rich history for Briar Cliff basketball so just to have my name involved with that is a complete honor,” Forbes said about being inducted into the BCU hall of fame. “I’m grateful for everything. I’ve been blessed with a lot of support from my family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches. Just giving thanks back to all of them is really what that day is for me because I just reflect on everything that I’ve gone through. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all those people.”
As a player Forbes wants to be remembered for being a good teammate and playing every game as hard as he could. He knew there would be players who were more athletic, more powerful, and even more talented than him so to combat that he made sure he would be the hardest playing person on the court.
“Diving on the floor, taking charges, getting a tough rebound, that was always what I pride myself on,” Forbes said about his playing style. “I think the biggest thing for me was just making sure that my teammates, everybody else on the floor, knew that I was going to be the one playing the hardest.”
Playing this way was not anything new for Forbes. By going back to his roots in Lone Tree, where he graduated High School, it would be apparent he became the type of player he is when he played for the Lone Tree Lions for four years (2009-2013).
“Best memory I have was my senior year making the state tournament,” Forbes said about his time playing for Lone Tree. “We had a group of seniors that had played together since literally kindergarten all the way up to senior year. I was just blessed with a really awesome group of dudes to be around every day. And they taught me just as much as I hope I taught them about stuff and we just kind of learned together and grew up together.”
The trip to the state tournament during his senior year ended up being more significant than Forbes would initially realize. The state tournament is where Briar Cliff scouted Forbes. With his senior year winding down he wasn’t getting many offers from colleges to play basketball, and the ones that were coming in were from D3 schools. This changed when Briar Cliff made its intentions known.
“March of my senior year is when Briar Cliff reached out to me. I took a visit, luckily my parents were awesome, and took me anywhere I wanted to go to visit,” Forbes said about how he chose to attend BCU. “Really for me what brought me to Briar Cliff was the people who were here. I still tell people this today, because that’s my job now is to recruit people to Briar Cliff, and frankly it’s the people here that sell it.”
After graduating from BCU in 2017 Forbes spent two seasons as a men’s basketball assistant coach at East Tennessee State University (ETSU).
At ETSU Forbes worked with and learned from Steve Forbes, who now coaches for Wake Forest and is also a Lone Tree alum. Forbes credits Steve for developing a lot of his basketball coaching knowledge.
“[Steve] luckily let me come onto his staff and I learned an unbelievable amount of knowledge in those two years about college coaching and basketball and everything about it, how it works, the job, the career. He’s taught me a lot.”
Growing up there was always a thought in the back of Forbes’ mind when it came to his interest in becoming a basketball coach. This stems from how accessible basketball is to him as a whole.
Basketball made him happy and pursuing a career path after he was done playing that would still let him be around the sport he has such fondness for made all the sense in the world.
“I would say that just from a young age, I think that one of the things that came easiest for me was basketball and just the knowledge of the game. It was like math didn’t come easy to me but basketball did. It was one of those things where I saw something on the basketball floor and I could tell and talk to my teammates and let them know what’s coming before it happened, but that wasn’t the same case for science and math,” Forbes said.
When considering his future as a coach, Forbes makes being happy where he is the top priority and being an assistant coach for the college he graduated from already gives him a great deal of happiness.
He loves where he coaches now and had a great passion for it. Not being concerned with things like money he does not take for granted the happiness he had garnered at BCU. Still holding Lone Tree in high regard he knows how important it is to enjoy where you are.
“Thank you to my family and all my coaches, coach Squiers especially. Coach Squiers is a big part of why I am where I am today as well. He was just always there for me and always supporting me, helping me out. I’ll always be forever grateful for him and everything he has done for me in my career, ” Forbes said. “I would just like to say thank you to everybody in Lone Tree that has ever supported me. I wouldn’t be here without all the local support, the community. I became the person I am because of Lone Tree. It is a special place to me, I will never forget where I came from, so thank you to everybody.”
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