Former FHS basketball star now Division I starter for Bryant

Published 11:18 am Friday, December 9, 2016

by Brenon Artis

A former Franklin High School basketball star faced off against the U.S. Naval Academy’s Midshipmen as a starter for Bryant University’s Bulldogs Tuesday in Annapolis, Maryland.

Adam Grant, who played for Franklin’s Broncos from eighth grade through his junior year of high school, received his first taste of playing Division I college basketball earlier this fall after receiving a full-tuition scholarship to Bryant in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Since starting for Bryant, he has averaged 16 points per game.

Adam Grant, right, who played for Franklin Broncos basketball team, is now a Division I start at Bryant University. With him is former coach Danny Dillon. -- SUBMITTED

Adam Grant, right, who played for Franklin Broncos basketball team, is now a Division I start at Bryant University. With him is former coach Danny Dillon. — SUBMITTED

The Bulldogs ultimately lost to the Midshipmen 74-76 after Navy overcame a seemingly insurmountable 25-point Bryant lead going into the fourth quarter, with under two minutes left in the game.

After a miss for the Bulldogs, the Midshipmen got their first lead of the night on a Lacy layup with just under 40 seconds in the final quarter, but Grant and company quickly moved down the floor and the rookie buried a jumper with 26 seconds remaining to put his team on top, 74-73.

Unfortunately for Grant and company, Navy quickly converted the layup to give the Midshipmen a lead they would not relinquish. Grant had a good look at an 18-footer in the final seconds, but the jumper hit back iron to secure the Navy comeback.

“I have learned to be patient on offense and keep working hard on defense,” Grant said after the game. “I like to listen to the X’s and O’s, that’s just how I play.”

According to Franklin High School’s former head coach, Danny Dillon, who coached Grant and his three older brothers, Grant’s love of basketball has been lifelong.

“Adam was about four years old when he would start coming around his brothers in the Franklin High School gym,” Dillon said. “When he was in second grade, he was playing with the third and fourth graders at the YMCA. He was the best one out there. I knew he was going to be a player.”

According to Dillon, when Grant was in fifth and sixth grade, Franklin High School coaches couldn’t wait for him to be old enough to play. Finally, when he reached eighth grade, current FHS Head Coach Robby Cutchins turned him loose on the court.

“It’s not every day that the best player in the FHS basketball program could possibly be an eighth grader on the JV team,” Cutchins said. “Adam was a pleasure to coach, an extremely talented young player and one of the hardest working players I’ve ever coached.”

In ninth grade, Grant shined under Dillon, averaging 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists per game, and did not disappoint when he transitioned to the varsity level.

“His dribbling skills were some of the best I’ve ever seen,” Dillon said. “He was so strong with the ball and could shoot ‘lights out.’”

Grant became a captain as a freshman in high school, and was also named most valuable player that year, leading his team to a top 10 ranking.

He maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and transferred to Norfolk Collegiate for his senior year to reclassify and get an extra year of eligibility to play high school basketball.

“Adam was so special as a high school player, but more as an individual,” Cutchins said. “He loved God. Adam was on the bust the night that I prayed with the basketball players and 21 kids gave their heart to Jesus.

“As proud as I am of him playing at Bryant and at the Division I level, it fails in comparison with how proud I am of his walk with God. That is why God is blessing him to be one of the nation’s best freshmen. This is the reason I coach in the first place, so that when young men are given the platform, they can give God glory and let His light shine.”

When asked why he chose to play for Bryant, Grant replied, “I liked their recruiting style; it seemed a great fit, and they seemed genuine.”

Grant also had the following advice for youth who aspire to play collegiate sports, “Stay focused; school is the biggest key. I know a lot of kids could have had the opportunity to play, but school was a big factor. Watch who you hang around, it’s cool to have friends and be social, but if you ever want to get to the next level or do anything in life, you will have to separate yourselves at times and understand that there are times to play, times to be serious, and always put God first.”