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Sapulpa’s Rickey Bruner III relishes the opportunity to play for his father – Presented by Creek County Farm Bureau

By BYRON BEERS

[email protected]

Rickey Bruner III is just getting started in his prep career on the hardwood as a freshman at Sapulpa, but he’s already making waves.

The 5-foot-8 point guard and son of Chieftains’ head coach Rickey Bruner Jr. was named to the Bishop Kelley Invitational All-Tournament team in December and to the Lincoln Christian All-Tournament team in January.

“He will have a big impact as a freshman handling point guard duties,” his father said prior to the season. “He’s an extremely hard worker that has gained his teammates’ trust and continues to improve daily.”

Bruner relishes the opportunity to play for his father, who was a standout at Sapulpa, averaging 17.3 points per game as a senior in 2000.

“It’s amazing to be able to play for my dad, and I’m truly honored and blessed to be able to play for him,” he said. “He’s a great coach and knows how to really bring the best out of me and my teammates every single day. He has played a huge role in my basketball career and is a big part of why I am and who I am now.”

Getting started on his craft at the age of four, Bruner has the ability to create off the dribble and knock down jump shots, something he is constantly working on to improve.

“My strengths are being able to get to the basket, or getting to my 15 footer and being a good playmaker,” he said. “But the thing I’ve improved on most this season is my shooting ability.

“My favorite drill in training has to be ball screen work because it helps me know all my reads, so in the game I’m comfortable making the right play.”

Bruner, who models his game after NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson and has aspirations of playing Division I college basketball, also values his time away from the court.

“To balance my time in sports, school and other activities, I like to make sure I’m very organized and have good time management,” he said. “My goals this year are to make it to the state tournament and end the year with a 4.0 GPA.

“I think the thing I love most about being a student-athlete is that it teaches you things like teamwork, perseverance, responsibility, time management and commitment.”

Bruner feels the Chieftains are improving each and every day.

“Me and my team are continuing to get better and better as the season progresses and we will continue to grow throughout the year,” he said.

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