Ryan Nembhard is gearing up for a big season for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, but he's not the only member of the family that's played for the prestigious college basketball program.
The first week of June, 2020, was a busy time in the Nembhard family. On June 1, older brother Andrew decided it was time to transfer. After spending two seasons at Florida, Nembhard had initially planned to enter the NBA Draft, but the shutdown associated with the pandemic made it difficult for him to get input from teams in the league. So he decided to come back to college and get a new start at a new school.
Florida point guard Andrew Nembhard officially entered the transfer portal this morning, sources told ESPN.
Gonzaga, Duke, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Memphis and Georgetown already reached out.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) June 1, 2020
At the same time Andrew was beginning his search, younger brother Ryan was finishing his up. A four-star point guard recruit, Ryan made his college choice five days after Andrew's started. He committed to Creighton.
— Andrew Nembhard (@AndrewNembhard) June 23, 2020
Two weeks later, Andrew found his new college home—Gonzaga.
"I'm excited to see both of us going to college," Andrew told a podcast the brothers appeared on that summer. "We've been playing one-on-one in the driveway all these years."
? @AndrewNembhard & Ryan Nembhard on Andrew transferring to Gonzaga & Ryan?s commitment to Creighton.
— The Front Office (@tfrontoffice) July 4, 2020
Two years later, both brothers have relocated again. Andrew is starting his second season with the Indiana Pacers. Ryan, meanwhile, has followed in big brother's footsteps, opting to transfer to Gonzaga, where he is expected to be one of the top point guards in college basketball this year.
"Obviously, he told me a lot about the program," Rya said at WCC media day last month. "About coaching staff, all that stuff. But the best thing he did for me was let me make my own journey, my own path. He kind of let me make my own decision. That's what I'm doing. But obviously, he told me great things about the program."
Ryan was impressed with the way head coach Mark Few and his assistants helped Andrew develop into an NBA player.
"He told me about the trust he had in the coaching staff, the freedom they let him play with," Ryan said. "He obviously had a great two years, a great time. One of the main things was the culture."
Ryan was also not a stranger to Few and the Gonzaga players, so when it came time to find a new school, the Zags had a bit of an advantage.
"We had a great familiarity with him, because we knew his family," Few said. "You find yourself flipping through channels (last year) and 'Oh, there's Ryan. Let's watch him.' These guys all knew him, because he's been up here at times."
Few is very cautious about having Ryan, who he called "the best point guard in college basketball," feel like he's just Andrew's brother, though.
"He's his own man," the coach said. "He's different. His game is different. He's on a different path. It'll be fun to be a part of it."
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