South African cheerleader lifts weights, spirits at UNK

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KEARNEY – Bryant Isaacs balances cheerleaders on his shoulders while majoring in exercise science and catering.

The youngster from South Africa traveled to the United States to attend Mid-Plains Community College before transferring to the University of Nebraska at Kearney last year.

“My aunt came and visited me and wanted to know what I was doing, and at that time I was doing nothing but working,” Isaacs said. “He ended up asking me if I wanted to study abroad, and I said yes. Ever since I was little, I always wanted to live there. I feel like this is where I was meant to be.”

In his second semester on campus, the UNK offensive team recruited Isaacs because of his strength, which he built up through practice.

“The big guy at the time came up to me because he and his coach had talked and seen me lift, so obviously I could lift a lot of weight,” Isaacs said. “Me and the coach talked, and they gave me a good deal, and it was very nice.”

Isaacs jumped to cheer for UNK in the middle of the season, despite having no prior experience. He enjoyed his first game a few days after joining.

“Bryant brings such a unique energy and strength to the team,” said Krista Williams, UNK’s cheer coach. “He’s very encouraging and he’s like a hype man. He came in mid-season and everyone already knew everything. He just jumped in and learned quickly.”

In addition to cheerleading, Isaacs works at Chick-fil-A in the Nebraskan Student Union on campus. He enjoys building relationships with colleagues and clients.

“Every time we work at the front, it’s nothing but endless laughter,” said Trenton Harbur, his team leader. “We like to make fun of each other. We also had serious conversations when Chick-fil-A wasn’t busy, and we could sit there and chat for a minute. ”

This story first appeared in The Antelope student newspaper

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