Thanks to class of 2012 small forward Jerami Grant for doing the interview with us. The 6’7, 200-pound wing committed to Syracuse last September and plays for DeMatha Catholic High School (Maryland), one of the best teams in the country. Grant talked to us about recruiting class of 2013 center BeeJay Anya, his goals for Syracuse and much more. Check it out below.
Just because of the style of play, it’s a great situation there to walk into. I feel like it fits with my style of play and there’s a great coaching staff there. It just seemed like the best fit for me.
Why did you choose to commit at the time that you did?
I kind of wanted to commit before the high school basketball season started so I didn’t have to worry about it or worry about anyone else taking my scholarship or anything like that. I feel like I made the best decision I could.
How does going to a big-time program like DeMatha help your development?
I think it helps prepare me for college in a lot of ways. Probably the main way it helps is it helps you learn how to play basketball. Most people play basketball like streetball and things like that but at DeMatha, you’re forced to play in a set style of play. In college and in even the NBA you play a style like DeMatha does.
What was your favorite part of the recruiting process?
Probably all of the attention. I personally believed it when all the coaches called me and told me they wanted me and things like that.
What was your least favorite part of the recruiting process?
I would have to say dealing with people telling me what to do. People trying to tell me where to go and things like that and influence me. There was just a lot of people in my head.
What’s one thing that you learned about the recruiting process?
I learned that coaches will say anything to a recruit. I kind of already knew though because my brother, [former Clemson power forward] Jerai Grant, told me to watch out and just because a coach says something doesn’t mean he’ll actually do that. So going into the situation, I kind of already knew that but I got to see it first hand and they’ll definitely tell you whatever you want to hear just to get you. That happens in a lot of schools and a lot of different situations.
What’s the most outrageous thing a coach has ever told you?
Probably that I was going to play 35 minutes as a freshman.
What kind of other advice did your brother give you about the recruiting process?
Both of my brothers, Jerai who played at Clemson and [sophomore shooting guard] Jerian [Grant] who plays at Notre Dame, told me that I had to do what’s best for me and not listen to anyone else telling me what to do. They taught me a lot and just made sure I was okay.
How much did that help you having them give you advice?
It helped me a lot. Going into it, if I didn’t have them, I don’t know what school I would have picked. They didn’t want to tell me what school to pick because they wanted to stay out of it but what they told me helped me end up picking Syracuse because that’s the best fit for me.
So what do you like about Syracuse that isn’t basketball related?
I just like the environment. Even though it’s cold I feel like a lot of people come back to Syracuse and everybody there is one big family.
What do you think of the recruiting class you have coming in?
I feel like [class of 2012 center] DaJuan [Coleman] and I can go in there and make a big impact. He’s a big body so he’ll defintiely be able to fight for playing time right away. I feel like I can make an impact, not even in scoring, but just defensively and causing problems with my length.
Yeah, I’ve been recruiting [class of 2013 center] BeeJay Anya, he plays on my DeMatha team. I’ve been trying to get him to lean towards Syracuse.
What are you telling him?
I’ve just been telling me everything I learned throughout the recruiting process. I told him it’s a big school, if he came in he could probably make a big impact and that I think he’d have a great time here.
What are you looking forward to once you get to Syracuse?
Just playing hard, being on a great team, being in a great program and playing for [head] coach [Jim] Boeheim and all the other coaches.
Are there any particular guys you look forward to playing with?
I’m looking forward to playing with the whole team. They’ve been playing great this year and I feel that when I go in I can help a little bit as a freshman. The team is going to be great next year.
Are there any guys you look forward to playing against next year?
I look forward to playing against [class of 2012 point guard] James Robinson (Pittsburgh), my DeMatha teammate.
Are there any games you look forward to?
Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to playing against UNC and Duke when we go to the ACC. I feel like those will be great match-ups that people will want to see.
What are some of your goals for your time at Syracuse?
I just want to make the best of my college situation, whatever happens, happens. Obviously I’d like to get to the next level but if it doesn’t happen then at least I tried.
Did you have a favorite basketball team growing up?
Yeah, the Oklahoma Sooners. I just liked them because my dad went there and because I had a great relationship with [former head] coach Jeff Capel. I also really liked [former Oklahoma star] Blake Griffin.
Did that impact your recruitment at all?
Definitely. I was leaning towards Oklahoma for a long time until coach got fired. After that, my interest level went down even though I was still considering them.
What was the coolest part of the recruiting process for you?
Probably all the football games I went to, those were great. I also loved Midnight Madness at Syracuse with [Houston Rockets point guard] Johnny Flynn, [Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard] Wesley Johnson and [New York Knicks small forward] Carmelo Anthony.
Were there any particular football games that stand out?
My favorite game I went to was probably the Oklahoma-Florida State game.
What’s one thing people probably don’t know about you?
I like to play the guitar, just any kind of music that I hear.
Got any YouTube videos?
Nah, but I plan on making one.