It was July 16, Nathan Bryant's 16th birthday, when he got a phone call from USA Hockey.
Bryant made the US National Development Sled Hockey Team.
Happy birthday indeed.
Bryant is one of 11 forwards named to the development team, used to groom future national team players. He is joined by fellow Buffalo Sabres Sled Hockey player, Colin Gooley, a defenseman from Baldwinsville.
Bryant, who will be a junior at Iroquois High School in the fall, has cerebral palsy. His mother, Sue, said the heard about sled hockey through word of mouth and went to check out a practice.
Nathan immediately wanted to play.
Nine years later, he has an opportunity to travel the country with Team USA and practice with national and development team members.
"He always consistently improved his game but this past season, we as a family, realized he really wanted this," Sue said. "He was putting in more effort and started working out with a trainer. This past year he's really matured."
Bryant participated in USA Hockey's development camp earlier this month at the Northtowns Center. From there, he was selected for the U.S. National Development Team.