King/Drew power forward Bryce Collier enjoys learning math and science, he aspires to be a doctor or a neurosurgeon (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

King/Drew senior power forward Bryce Collier knows the value of hard work and how it can bring positive results. His strong work ethic helped the Golden Eagles earn their first City Section championship.

“Last year, we lost second round in the playoffs,” Collier said. “Then came back this year, put in hard work and we won, hard work pays off.”

While making the boys’ basketball team successful, Collier maintained a 3.5 GPA. His favorite subjects are math and science. As a junior, Collier took AP U.S. history and AP biology. For the AP history class, the grade was mainly based on rigorous tests that required in-depth answers, according to Collier.

“It was very challenging at first, with AP U.S. History,” he said. “The tests were college tests and it wasn’t like you could just skim the day before to get an A on them.”

AP biology aided Collier in understanding the way his body works, which helped him with basketball related situations.

“It taught me the different things, how it affects the body and also learned how to recover faster from injuries,” he said.

Collier found a role model in his father, who played football and basketball. He was there to mentor Collier, especially as King/Drew went 20-16 overall this past season.

“He’ll give me little tips on what to do better, how to improve my game,” Collier said. “He’ll come to my games, see how I’m playing, see what I’m doing wrong [and] help me out.”

To Collier, the King/Drew boys basketball team is “energetic” and “focused.” He noted how the Marine League is “one of the strongest leagues.” King/Drew competed with Open Division juggernauts like the Narbonne Guachos and Division I contenders Carson and Washington Prep during League play.

“We beat the team that won the Division I [City Section title],” Collier said. “When it comes to our league, we [were] prepared for everybody we had to face.”

Collier aspires to be a neurosurgeon and desires to do research on Alzheimer’s disease. He saw how attending King/Drew could assist him in pursuing his dream.

“When I found out about their careers program, where all the juniors work half a day at a hospital or at Charles University, I was like ‘that sounds really cool, I want to do that,” he said. “I always wanted to research on Alzheimer’s because one of my great uncles died from Alzheimer’s.”

Being a student athlete means being a student first for Collier. Having a strong academic record will lead to desired opportunities.

“If you do well in school, you have better opportunities to get a scholarship in basketball,” he said. “If you have a 4.0, you can almost go anywhere … even if you don’t go to a [division I program], you might go to Harvard and still be able to play basketball.”