'Byrd is the word': Get to know Clifford Byrd II
The fifth-year senior has established himself as a leader both on and off the hardwood.
“Byrd is the word!”
Anyone who’s had the privilege of watching Clifford Byrd II play basketball for Bethel College has heard that phrase before.
Cliff, as he’s most commonly known, is a fifth-year senior from Memphis, Tex. He fell in love with the game of basketball when he was just three years old. “It’s just something about the game that makes me feel at peace,” Cliff said. “Knowing that I’m playing for something bigger than me. I play for God and allow him to play through me.”
It’s bigger than just the game of basketball for Cliff — and playing outside of himself has allowed him to grow into a game-changing basketball player.
Cliff has been a starter for the Threshers since his junior year. He’s always been that ‘silent assassin’ on the team — killing the hopes of opposing teams without the fanfare. Most people don’t even notice the amount of work he puts in behind the scenes, but it speaks for itself come game time. And while his play on the court is spectacular, his leadership off the court is off the charts.
Around campus and in the community, Cliff is constantly looking for ways to help his teammates and those around him be the best person they can be. For example, Cliff is highly engaged in campus ministries. When it comes to different events hosted by the group, topics for chapel services, and social media content, he plays a significant role — and he finds a tremendous amount of joy from putting a smile on the faces of others and seeing everyone around him succeed.
I had the opportunity to ask a few other student-athletes about Cliff, and they all say the same thing: “Cliff is an amazing person all around. He’s a role model for us.”
Additionally, I can personally say that I couldn’t agree more with those statements. Cliff is someone that’s made a big impact on me in my little time of knowing him. Whether that be spiritually or athletically, he’s always encouraging others and myself to grow in these areas. Not only does he tell us, but he shows us. An example of this is the bible studies that he hosts with some of his teammates. He’s constantly creating a warm and open environment that makes everyone feel included no matter who they are or where they come from.
And even though he’s not technically family, he’s my brother for life.
Leadership, selfless, caring, and faithful. These are just a few of the many ways to describe the Bethel icon. His character consistently speaks for itself and he is truly a mentor for many. Cliff makes an impact in any room he walks into, and there’s no doubt that Threshers have witnessed a true man of God for the past four — now going on five — years. He’s a man who’ll flourish past the game of basketball and his time at Bethel.
BYRD. IS. THE. WORD.