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CHS grad signs with Stanislaus
Former Ceres High boys basketball star Brett Sayad signed a national letter of intent with Cal State Stanislaus on Monday, April 19. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition and books.

Sayad spent the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons at Modesto Junior College, where he earned Big-8, all-conference honors. Brett averaged 14.4 points and 6.3 rebounds this past year. He buried 146 3-pointers during his career.

" It's an exciting, new chapter," said Sayad, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard/forward. "It's relieving in a way because I don't have nothing to worry about next year. All the stresses are gone. The thought's always been in my head. Are any teams going to want me?"

Stanislaus pursued Brett during his sophomore year with the Pirates.

"They contacted me at the beginning of the basketball season to let me know they were interested," he said. "That earned them brownie points. I'm looking forward to the first day of practice. I don't even know who my teammates are going to be. That's exciting."

Sayad will get a chance to play in front of his family. The drive from Ceres to Turlock takes just 10 minutes.

"That was one of my deciding factors," he said. "My parents (Tom and Kim) being there to support me is important."

Sayad's main position will be small forward. He'll also contribute at power forward and shooting guard.

Paul Brogan, Brett's head coach at Modesto JC, was a two-year standout at Stanislaus. He also transferred from a community college.

"My goal is to break all of his records," Brett said.

Sayad knows he has a lot of work ahead of him. He must improve in all areas to be successful at the next level.

"I got to get to get quicker and stronger," Brett said. "That's not easy to do."

Sayad always envisioned playing basketball at a four-year college.

Brett's thankful Larry Reynolds and Stanislaus made his dream come true. Reynold's entering his second season as head coach of the Warriors.

"It's not Duke," Sayad said. "But it's an up-and-coming program with a good coach. I'm excited for it. I think it will be fun. It's a good feeling to know someone wants you."

Sayad and Columbia College transfer Evan Scott, a 6-foot-6 215-pound guard/forward, were a part of Reynolds' first signing class for the 2010-11 season.

"We are happy to have both of these young men join our program,"  Larry said. "They are similar players and both are very versatile  players that can play a number of positions. Both Brett and Evan have the ability to shoot the three and score from different areas on the floor."

Sayad is not the first former Bulldog to play basketball for the Warriors.

Shannon Donnelly, a 1999 Ceres High graduate, averaged 19.9 points and 11.3 rebounds per game and shot 52.7 percent from the field during her four seasons with the women's program. The three-time All-American led the Warriors into the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in 12 years in 2002-03.

Donnelly was the first Stanislaus player, male or female, to surpass the 2,000-point mark.

Her No. 35 jersey was retired and put on display at Warrior Arena in December 2003.

Brett wants to have a similar impact with the men's team.

"That's a big name to live up to," Sayad said.

Brett has had a productive basketball career up to this point.

He led Ceres High's boys program to 52 wins and two playoff berths in three seasons.

He earned all-conference honors every year.

He averaged 21.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals as a senior.

Sayad plans to be a P.E. teacher and basketball coach in the future.

"If I can't play, I want to be able to stay around the game," he said.