When Thomas Bryant wanted to fill time in his room at Indiana, he would pick up a pencil and draw.
Not basketball plays — sketches.
"I had a friend that could draw literally anything," Bryant explained. "I used to be like, 'How do you do that?' One day I sat down and started drawing. I taught myself ... I didn't draw for about a year. I was sitting in bed one day in my dorm freshman year, I was like, I'm going to draw to see if I still had it. Luckily I did."
The 6-foot-10, 241-pound center taps into his creative side, using pencil as the medium to recreate pictures that had caught his attention. The drawings Bryant shared show a close attention to detail.
He has yet to sketch people, noting, "The shading, eyes and lips, it's hard."
Bryant found a correlation between his artistic abilities and basketball during his two years at Indiana, where he averaged 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks as a sophomore. He was able to execute plays by seeing the visual depiction on a whiteboard.
"I used to do that a lot at IU," he said. "When I couldn't hear the play-call, I used to look like, 'OK, James (Blackmon) is going there, so this is it.'"
Bryant is a projected second-round pick. He worked out for the Sixers, who hold selections Nos. 36, 39, 46 and 50, on Wednesday. Bryant shot 38.3 percent from three last season, which translated into the workout. While he said he sees himself as a center who can spread the floor, he also can play power forward and is working on improving his defense at multiple spots.
"[We saw] his increased confidence of shooting the ball," Sixers vice president of basketball administration and 87ers general manager Brandon Williams said. "This year, he moved to the four with a focus on showing people he can be a stretch-four. There are questions about whether or not he can guard that position in the NBA.
"When you get close to him, you realize he's actually not small. He's 6-foot-11-and-a-half with shoes, seven-and-a-half foot wingspan. He's a large person who can guard fives in the NBA. Add to that the ability to shoot the three, he can be a weapon."
Bryant liked the sense of welcome he felt with the Sixers, seeing many of the current players at the training complex during his workout. Joel Embiid, Jerryd Bayless, T.J. McConnell, Justin Anderson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot are among the players who have been in attendance this week. He said he could relate to their desire to spend time at the gym improving their game.
Bryant already has worked out with the Heat, Celtics, Magic, Nets and Sixers. He will meet with the Hawks, Jazz, Trail Blazers, Bulls, Kings and Pacers before the draft.
Perhaps one of his next sketches will be his own NBA uniform.