Brian Grant

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Brian Grant
BrianPhoto.jpg
No. 33, 44, 55
Power forward
Personal information
Born (1972-03-05) March 5, 1972 (age 42)
Columbus, Ohio
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (206 cm)
Listed weight 254 lb (115 kg)
Career information
High school Georgetown (Georgetown, Ohio)
College Xavier (1990–1994)
NBA draft 1994 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8th overall
Selected by the Sacramento Kings
Pro playing career 1994–2006
Career history
19941997 Sacramento Kings
19972000 Portland Trail Blazers
20002004 Miami Heat
2004–2005 Los Angeles Lakers
2005–2006 Phoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 7,933 (10.5 ppg)
Rebounds 5,622 (7.4 rpg)
Assists 923 (1.2 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Brian Wade Grant (born March 5, 1972) is a retired American basketball player. He played the power forward and center positions for five teams during 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association. He was known for his tenacious rebounding and blue-collar defense. During his career, he played with the Sacramento Kings (where he made First Team All-Rookie in the 1994–95 season), Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.

Early life[edit]

Grant grew up in the small, rural community of Georgetown, Ohio, near the Ohio River about 40 miles southeast of Cincinnati. During summers, he spent most of his time working at area farms, picking and stripping tobacco, digging potatoes and baling hay. He played basketball at Georgetown High School,[1] mostly in anonymity until Xavier University's basketball office began receiving anonymous calls stating that they should take a look at Grant. Xavier assistant coach Dino Gaudio finally scouted Grant, followed by visits from XU head coach Pete Gillen.[2] Georgetown High's gymnasium has since been renamed Brian Grant Gymnasium.[3]

College career[edit]

Grant played basketball at Xavier University, but the anonymity quickly faded. After four seasons at Xavier, Grant was second on the all-time leading scorers' list with 1,719 points. He was twice named Midwest Collegiate Conference Player of the Year. All four seasons at Xavier he led the Musketeers in rebounding, and was third on the all-time leading rebounding list with 1,080. He was named to the Associated Press honorable mention All-American team in his junior year, after ranking second in the nation in field goal percentage with 65.4 percent.[4]

He was inducted into the Xavier Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999 and became one of only four basketball players to have his jersey retired, in a ceremony held in 2011.[5]

NBA career[edit]

Grant was drafted in the first round, eighth overall, in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. He signed a 5-year, $29 million contract.

Grant opted out of the deal following the 1997 season to sign a 7-year, $56 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. After two years as the starting PF and one year as the Blazers' number one big man off the bench, Grant once again opted out of his deal to become a free agent, hoping to land a starting job elsewhere.

In the summer of 2000 Grant signed a mega-deal with Miami: 7 years, $86 million, despite coming off season averages of 7.5 ppg and 5.5 rpgg. The deal raised eyebrows, but Heat GM Pat Riley insisted that Grant was the missing piece to the Heat's championship puzzle. Grant responded by putting up a career season of 15.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg, and a career high 79.7% at the foul line, despite having to play out of position at center - his traditional position was power forward.

During the summer of 2004, he was traded (along with Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, and a future first-round draft pick) to the Lakers in exchange for Shaquille O'Neal. Grant was released the following off-season and signed with Phoenix. He was traded in the 2006 NBA Draft to the Boston Celtics with the rights to Rajon Rondo in exchange for a future first-round draft pick. After being waived by the Celtics on October 27, 2006, Grant formally announced his retirement after lingering injuries had reduced his level of play for several seasons.

He is nicknamed "The General" after growing up in the same town of Georgetown, Ohio as Civil War Union general and President Ulysses S. Grant.

Brian worked with Greg Oden in the 2009 off-season in Columbus, Ohio for the purposes of adding more toughness, basketball smarts, and miscellaneous advice.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Grant is the father of seven: sons Amani, Elijah, Jaydon, Jonavan, and Brian, and daughters Maliah and Anaya.

Charity work[edit]

Brian Grant is well known for his contributions to the communities in various cities. Grant served as the Oregon and Southwest Washington spokesperson for Ronald McDonald House Charities when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers. Grant and Ronald McDonald House Charities teamed up in July 1999 to hold “Brian’s Bash” – a celebrity golf tournament in Portland – to raise money for seriously and terminally ill children.

During his time as an NBA player, he started his own foundation in order to assist seriously ill children, as well as their families, and under-privileged youth. These numerous acts of selflessness and generosity were recognized by the NBA in 1999 when he was awarded the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. A few of the programs that The Brian Grant Foundation has launched are the "Scholastic Attendance Program", the "Christmas Adopt-A-Family Program", the "Thanksgiving Dinner Distribution Program" with Pazzo's Restaurant, Mother's Against Gang Violence, the TLC Soup Kitchen, and the "Brian Grant Free Summer Basketball Clinics" in Portland, Oregon, and Georgetown, Ohio.[7]

After retiring from the NBA and moving his family back to his adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon, Grant was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in November 2008. With new friends in Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali, who share the disease with Brian, he decided to recreate the Brian Grant Foundation; this time, with a new focus and mission. The new charity supports efforts toward the education and awareness of Parkinson’s disease in order to increase earlier diagnosis, educate patients and their families, and provide a viable forum for people affected by the disease. The mission of the foundation is to help those impacted by Parkinson's to live active and fulfilling lives.The foundation hosts an annual fundraiser, hake It Till We Make It, to raise money to provide support and resources for all those affected by Parkinson's disease. Shake It Till We Make It is a two-day celebrity gala and golf tournament hosted in Portland, OR.

The Brian Grant Foundation partners up with other foundations, such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, to support and fund research dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease and to finding improved therapies for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Health[edit]

In November 2008, after talking with a neurologist at OHSU, Brian Grant was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's disease. Through discussions and encouragement by well-known Parkinson's sufferers Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali, Grant publicized his diagnosis in 2009.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]