Not since Luke Harangody in 2010 have the Notre Dame Fighting Irish had one of their basketball players selected in the NBA Draft. This Thursday, on June 25, Jerian Grant will break the streak.
Grant put himself on the map after leading the Irish to an ACC tournament championship, an appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight and earning First-Team All-America honors. The 6’5” point guard will have great size for his position, and at the very least can be a pest on defense for smaller point guards. His size also will allow him to get shots over smaller point guards, as he showed plenty of shot-making ability during his tenure at Notre Dame.
Grant is 22-years-old, so although his upside is limited, he is a seasoned basketball mind that played in probably the best conference in college basketball last season. The ACC has NBA Draft prospects littered throughout the entire draft, which gives Grant favorable head-to-head comparisons with players like Tyus Jones from Duke.
Notre Dame fans can see Grant get drafted at the Barclays Center on Thursday night by attending the event live. According to TiqIQ.com, tickets to the NBA Draft have an average price of $104.61, with a get-in price of $51. Hipmunk.com provides available flights to Brooklyn through most major airline carriers, including hotels in the Brooklyn area starting from $42 a night to create an NBA Draft getaway vacation.
Grant is projected to fall in the late-teens in Thursday night’s draft. The Houston Rockets seem like one of the better fits at No. 18 overall, as Houston had the oldest back court in this year’s NBA playoffs, with Pablo Prigioni and Jason Terry boasting a combined age of 75 (although Patrick Beverley’s injury had something to do with that as well). The Wizards are also a suitable option at No. 19, where Grant can spell John Wall. If he were to fall past both of those teams, look for the Chicago Bulls to jump at the opportunity at No. 22. Between Derrick Rose’s health concerns and the declining play of Kirk Hinrich, Grant would be a logical fit for Chicago.
Before Harangody was selected in 2010, Notre Dame did not have a drafted player since 2002, when Ryan Humphrey was selected in the first round. Troy Murphy was the other player selected from that era of Fighting Irish basketball, when he was taken 14th overall in 2001.