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The mark of a winner: How growing among champs helped Jerian Grant become a EuroLeague champion

Jerian Grant is part of a huge basketball family and not one to joke about. The Panathinaikos grew up around winners as he was watching his uncle playing basketball alongside NBA superstars and his father being a valid NBA player that went around the league for 11 years.

Horace Grant is a four-time NBA champions playing alongside dazzling teammates like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Grant wasn’t able to have a steady career in the NBA but he eventually started something in Europe after leaving the Bulls for an unheralded Greek club named Promitheas Patras.

He immediately moved to EuroLeague but playing in his first season in Milan brought him back as he was unable to gain the trust of veteran coach Ettore Messina. Grant was once again fighting to make a name for himself. He did that in Notre Dame where he was named to the Big East Conference All-Rookie team after averaging 12.3 points and 4.9 assists per game.

In his final season in the Big Irish, the defensive minded guard had a breakout year. Grant-led Irish finished the year with a 32–6 record and an ACC Tournament championship; they advanced to the Elite 8 in the Midwest Region, where they lost to an undefeated Kentucky team by two points.

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Jerian Grant in the biggest stage possible and his restart after an up-and-down NBA career

Jerian Grant was playing against his brothers when he did not watch basketball. All of them are cherishing professional basketball careers in Europe and the NBA, but Grant had a tough assignment since he was a rookie.

“It means everything, family is everything to me. They’re the reason I got into basketball and the reason I’m playing today,” Jerian Grant said on Basketinside a few months ago.

He did not fear the bright lights of New York when the Knicks picked him at 19 of the 2019 NBA draft and became the first Notre Dame player since Ryan Humphrey in 2002 to be a first-round pick in the NBA Draft.

He played in New York for one season before moving to the Chicago Bulls and then the Washington Wizards. Panathinaikos interest came after an impressive season in the second-tier EuroLeague competition as the Notre Dame product came away with the EuroCup MVP title playing for Turk Telekom.

Jerian Grant arrived in Panathinaikos and his talent was immediately embraced from Ergin Ataman. The Turkish head coach knows how to pull out the best from his players and Grant was confident and steady all season for the Greens. In the championship game against Real Madrid, Grant put the Whites in the torture chamber during the second half while he made crucial shots playing alongside Kendrick Nunn and Kostas Sloukas.

“Basketball has been my whole life. Being in the NBA for four to five years, the goal was to win a championship. But now I’m here in Europe at the highest level, to be able to call yourself champions at the highest level here is gonna be really special,” Jerian Grant said before the EuroLeague final on Sunday, per Eurohoops.

Now, Grant will try to win the Greek league title for Panathinaikos. The Greens are expected to face Olympiacos in the finals in another meeting between the two Greek giants, which were present in Berlin for the EuroLeague Final-Four. With Grant keeping his poise in big moments, the Panathinaikos guard seems ready for another achievement with the Green jersey.

 

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