Grant: A True All-Star
Grant is on a fast break during basketball practice. With a quick
stop and then a rapid acceleration, Grant easily maneuvers his
wheelchair by the only defender between him and the basket. Then
comes the magic. With his teammate speeding down court toward
the hoop, Grant flips the ball behind his back which lands perfectly
in his "mates" hands for an easy shot.
my signature move," says Grant with a huge smile. "I
set the defender up. He thinks I'm going to shoot, then I just
put it behind my back."
Every Saturday during the season, Grant and his teammates on "the
Rollin' Knicks" push their limits for close to four hours
at the Graham Windham Center at 133rd Street and Broadway. Grant,
24, a shooting guard averaged over 16 points a game during the
team's tough 40-game schedule. Twice the long-range shooter scored
over 30 points in a contest. His breakout season didn't go unnoticed.
He was selected for the first time as a league all-star and was
flown out to Oakland, Calif. for an all-expenses-paid trip by
the team's sponsor, the New York Knicks. In Oakland, Grant and
other wheelchair basketball players who participate in the NBA's
sponsored league, played their all-star game during the NBA's
all-star weekend in February.
year I've seen improvement in his game," says Dave Snowden,
the Rollin' Knicks captain and the manager of Disabled Services
at Madison Square Garden. "He's a good outside shooter, he
has speed, great hands, and he really knows the game."
Injured in a car accident at the age of 17, Grant has worked to
adapt. He is almost totally self-sufficient now. He lives alone
and travels around the city by himself, either by bus or cab.
And he has a lot of traveling to do. Studying adaptive physical
education at Brooklyn College, Grant has to commute regularly
from his apartment in downtown Manhattan. Only five credits shy
of graduation, Grant is excited to finally begin his career full
important for me to work with kids," says Grant, who now
teaches phys-ed part-time for children with learning disabilities.
"I want to show kids that you can achieve regardless of the
cards that were dealt to you."
Grant was always athletic, although he didn't specialize in any
sports in high school. Now it's a different story for the second
year Rollin' Knick. He is fascinated by basketball and wants to
learn as much as he can about the game. He practices his skills
for hours at a time and hopes to be selected as a member of the
2004 United States Para Olympic Team.
found my niche," says Grant, who has traveled extensively
around the country playing in various tourneys. "It's something
I can do really well if I work at it."
His passion for basketball knows no limits. "If I'm in that
gym I play hard," says Grant. "I don't like to lose."
And make that in life as well.
Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel:
(212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of
the publisher. © 2001.