UAB running back Greg Bryant remains in critical condition at St. Mary’s Hospital in south Florida after being shot early Saturday morning.
UAB originally sent out statements from head football coach Bill Clark, athletics director Mark Ingram and president Ray Watts mourning his death.
About 4:30 p.m. CT, UAB spokesperson Jim Bakken said they got incorrect information from the family and put out the statements based on that, but they are told that Bryant is still alive. UAB then provided this update from Clark.
“We understand that our running back, Greg Bryant, is still fighting for his life in a Florida hospital following injuries he sustained in a shooting earlier today. The condolences we expressed earlier today were based on information a family member at the hospital provided and gave us permission to release. We remain steadfast as a Blazer family in our prayers and support for Greg and his family at this difficult time,” Clark said.
West Palm Beach Police Department public information officer Lori Columbino said that, as of 4 p.m. central, that Bryant was still in critical condition.
Bryant was driving with passenger Maurice Grover, 25, of Delray Beach, Fla., on I-95 southbound in south Florida near Delray Beach. The two were shot and the car was discovered at 4:45 a.m., per Columbino.
The two were taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center.
“Detective McGinley, the lead investigator in the shooting investigation, confirmed that Bryant is still in critical condition at St. Mary’s Medical Center,” she said.
The Twitter account from American Heritage in Delray Beach, Fla.,, where Bryant was a prep star, tweeted the news but later backtracked.
According to a UAB spokesperson, family on-site confirmed to head coach Bill Clark that Bryant had passed away. A spokesperson at St. Mary’s Hospital told AL.com that they could not give any information about Bryant.
Earlier in the day, UAB provided these statements from Clark, athletics director Mark Ingram and president Ray Watts.
“We lost a member of our Blazer Family today with the senseless passing of Greg Bryant,” Clark said. “We were so excited to recruit Greg, welcome him to Birmingham and to UAB Football, and get to know him over the past several months. Greg was a very special talent and young man. He always had a smile on his face.
“While he was with us for a short time – too short – he was a big part of an exciting and historical time for our program and will always be a Blazer. Greg worked extremely hard this spring on the field and in the classroom. He told me his GPA this semester was the highest he has had in his life, and he was very proud. The light really went on for him here, and he had a bright future ahead of him. We in the UAB community are all deeply saddened, and we are praying for Greg and his family. He and his family deserved much better than this, and we are heartbroken.”
Bryant was the headliner of UAB’s midyear recruiting class. The former four-star recruit started his career at Notre Dame, but left the school after the 2014 season and spent a year at ASA College in Miami.
This is the second tragedy in the last year that UAB has dealt with. Former defensive back Greg Maclin, a standout at Tanner and a member of the 2013 and 2014 UAB teams, died last June 5 after injuries suffered in an automobile accident.
“The Blazer athletics family is mourning the loss of sophomore running back Greg Bryant from Delray Beach, Florida,” Ingram said. “His death leaves us all grieving the promise and excitement this young man brought to his studies and his game. Greg, who was majoring in communications, was a leader on the field and a guiding force on our football team. We lift his family in prayer.”
“Our hearts are heavy today at the loss of one of our students, Gregory Bryant, Jr., whose life was taken way too soon in a terrible crime in Florida,” Watts said. “We suffer and mourn as a UAB family at this tragic turn of events. Young people pursuing their educations are filled with the hope and expectation of a bright future. The sudden end of a dream is jarring and painful. We offer our sincerest condolences to Greg’s family at this time.”