HOLLYWOOD — The Seminole trio of brothers – Bryce Osceola, Grant Osceola and Chayse Billie – have made significant impacts on the Hollywood Christian School boys basketball team this season. Opposing teams are probably fortunate all three haven’t been on the court at the same time.
On Jan. 15, only one of the three played, but it was more than enough to propel Hollywood Christian past Glades Day, 79-46, as Chayse poured in a season-high 34 points with a crisp shooting night in a breakout performance. The smooth-operating 6-foot-2 shooting guard joined the team about a month into the season and he’s been improving with each outing.
“You can tell his growth from the first game until now, it’s a lot,” said Hollywood Christian coach Josh Gertner. “I think it’s the first time he’s been asked to be put in that position, to lead, not only in scoring, but as well as distributing and defense and off the court as well. He’s doing a great job stepping up.”
Chayse, a junior, helped get his team off to a fast start with nine points in the first quarter as Hollywood Christian built a 17-8 lead. His versatility was evident in the quarter with two layups, a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws.
“He’s definitely maturing,” Gertner said. “At the beginning of the season, some bad shots, but now he’s definitely learning bad shot from good shot, when to make the extra pass.”
Grant, a 6-foot-3 senior, was doing a lot of good things all over the court until an Achilles injury ended his year just five games into the season.
“He did really well. He was like our point forward. He did rebounds, defense, blocked shots; he did everything for us,” Gertner said.
Although Grant’s basketball career at Hollywood Christian appears to be over, Bryce’s is just beginning. He’s only an eighth-grader and the future already looks bright thanks to some standout moments. He was named to the all-tournament team at a holiday tournament at South Fork High School, where he made six 3-pointers in one game.
“He started off, like a lot of eight-graders a little timid, but by the middle of the season he was our go-to guy. He was our leader in points for our Christmas tournament as well as our New Year’s tournament. He’s an unreal shooter,” Gertner said.
Bryce didn’t play against Glades Day, but the team hopes to have him back before the end of the season. With four more years of eligibility, Bryce is on a path to continue his family’s legacy at Hollywood Christian. His sisters Ariah and Skyla helped power Hollywood Christian to a 31-1 record and state championship in 2011. Their names and those of their teammates are prominently displayed on a purple banner in the gym. Brother Hunter was a standout at the school and teammate of Gertner before Hunter went on to win a state championship at American Heritage in 2014. Dad Marl was an assistant coach on the girls state title team and a former head coach of the boys. He has returned this season as assistant coach to Gertner, who is only 23.
“It’s been great having him here, just learning from him,” Gertner said. “He’s high energy and a great conditioning and skills coach.”
Gertner is in his first full season as head coach. He started last season as the JV team’s head coach and finished it as varsity head coach.
Gertner has his alma mater pointed in the right direction. By late January, the team had already doubled its win output from a year ago with a 12-9 record.