Likely first-round pick will follow father, uncle and brother into NBA
POSTED: Jun 22, 2015 10:39 PM ET
Prospect Profile: Jerian Grant
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The summer trips from Maryland to coastal San Luis Obispo, Calif., to visit Uncle Horace would include basketball,of course, plus conditioning work and weightlifting -- a lot of weightlifting because the teenage Grant boys were generally on the slim side. They would go hard, from the home gym to the outdoor court at the house to the nearby beach.
At some point, the rings would come out. It was inevitable, whether as motivation or the ultimate response to the younger family members who delighted in noting how their uncle played long, long before.
"I've actually put them on," said one of the nephews, Jerian Grant.
All of them. At the same time.
"Four of your five fingers are covered," he said. "It's pretty interesting."
College Highlights: Jerian Grant
Watch some highlights and see why Jerian Grant has been rated as a NBA draft prospect.
Welcome to the family business. Horace Grant played 17 seasons, won four titles with the Bulls and Lakers, was second-team All-Defense four times and an All-Star once. Identical twin Harvey played 11 seasons. Harvey's oldest son, Jerai, played in Latvia last season after previous stops in Italy, Australia and Israel. Another son, Jerami, was a second-round pick of the 76ers last June and turned in a better rookie season than most first-rounders, playing good defense while being assigned to guard everyone from power forwards to point guards. And now Harvey's third-oldest son, Jerian, is likely to be drafted in the first round Thursday night, as high as the teens, as a solid pass-first point guard with the experience of four seasons at Notre Dame.
From brothers Horace and Harvey in consecutive drafts in 1987 and '88 to brothers Jerami and Jerian -- sons of Harvey, nephews of Horace -- in consecutive drafts in 2014 and '15.
Just for us to be in the NBA together like my dad and my uncle were, it's just something that you can't even explain.
– Jerami Grant on playing in the NBA with brother Jerian
"It would mean a lot," Jerami said. "Just for us to be as successful as we've been as a family is amazing, just from my dad and my uncle. My oldest brother, Jerai, is overseas playing basketball, my younger brother is going to college -- it's just amazing. Just for us to be in the NBA together like my dad and my uncle were, it's just something that you can't even explain."
Jerian is a success story on his own, from being suspended the second semester of the 2013-14 school year because of academic problems to thinking about entering the draft a year ago to sticking it out and returning to Notre Dame after coach Mike Brey urged him to do something special in South Bend. So Grant did. He went back, played a senior season that increased his NBA stock and helped the Fighting Irish go 32-8 and reach the Elite Eight. And he graduated, with a sociology degree.
That was his moment, just as Thursday night when the selections are called out from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., will be as well. But picks from the same family two years in a row, as the sons and nephews of picks from the same family two years in a row? That goes beyond personal achievement.
There's a bet, too. A big bet.
"A ton of money," Jerami said.
Neither would disclose exactly how much. More than $10,000 and less than $25,000. That's all the narrowing down Jerami allowed, enough to get an idea of what is on the line, besides pride.
Jerami wagered during the season his spot as the No. 39 pick last June would hold up as the best among the generation-next Grants. Jerian bet he would beat that.
I'm extremely confident. I definitely still have a lot of work to put in, but at this point I definitely have the confidence on my side.
– Jerian Grant
"I'm extremely confident," Jerian said. "I definitely still have a lot of work to put in, but at this point I definitely have the confidence on my side."
Barring the shocking development of a slide into nearly the second half of the second round, Jerian will win. That had become obvious as the end of the college season merged into the pre-draft workouts and the lure of one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft remained strong. Jerian lasting until the second round would be a surprise, let alone into the 40s.
The thing is, Jerami wants to lose. He wants to pay up.
"I do, honestly," Jerami said. "It's kind of weird, but at the same time I'm excited for him. I just hope he goes as high as he can."
He wants Jerian to get picked as soon as possible as the first step to a long pro career.
"That's the type of family we are," Jerian said. "We always want the other guy to do better. Having a family that's that close means a lot to all of us."
Jerami was originally openly rooting for the 76ers to take Jerian so the two could become teammates, but Philadelphia picks third and then not again until 35. That makes it unlikely. The more-plausible outcome is Jerian going in the teens or 20s and starting his career in another city, but at least in the same place in another regard.
In the family business.
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