Grant eager to take part in Wizards’ workout

Clemson forward’s father played professional ball in Washington

The old Capital Centre in Landover, once the home of the Washington Bullets, is now a memory, but still a very vivid one for former ball boy Jerai Grant.

“From cleaning up sweat as a ball boy to where I am now, you just grow up to admire it,” Grant said.

Grant is now a 6-foot-8 power forward at Clemson, and an NBA prospect who is cleaning up the court in a very different way these days.

The son of former Bullets/Wizards forward Harvey Grant, Jerai Grant was one of several players invited to the Wizards’ first pre-draft workout Saturday, along with Georgetown seniors Chris Wright and Julian Vaughn.

“I’m really excited. Anytime you get an opportunity like this, you have to thank the Lord for it,” Grant said. “It’s a lot of hard work and effort at this point. I’m extremely psyched. I want to thank the Wizards for giving me this opportunity. I’m ready to keep working hard and get my game better and ready for the next level.”

Grant said his father’s advice was to simply “be ready.” Harvey Grant played in the NBA for 11 seasons, seven of them with Washington from 1988-93, and again from 1996-1998.

“It’s kind of surreal just to be here right now,” said the younger Grant. “I just have to knuckle down and get to work.”

Vaughn and Wright may have traveled a much shorter path than Grant - the Wizards’ practice court is just a few feet down the hall from the Georgetown locker room - but it’s still a long way from college to the NBA.

“It’s definitely a new experience for sure,” Vaughn said. “You’re a professional now. It’s your job now.”

Vaughn said he sought advice from former Hoyas playing in the NBA, including the Indiana Pacers’ Roy Hibbert and the Detroit Pistons’ Greg Monroe.

“It’s good to get that first workout under your belt, to just stay focused and keep working hard,” he said.

In addition to finishing school, Vaughn said his schedule includes running as many as three miles a day and staying in the gym to lift and work on conditioning.

Wright, who like Vaughn was participating in his first NBA workout, admitted that the experience made him nervous.

“Obviously, I’m a big Wizards fan. There’s a lot of talent out there,” Wright said. “I think it [the workout] went pretty well. It was fun. We got great instruction from the coaches. Coach [John] Thompson just told me to work hard, be positive, and just be myself.”

After shaking off a few nerves at Verizon Center, Wright and Grant will have their second workouts at an NBA combine at the New Jersey Nets’ practice facility May 7-8. All players must decide by May 8 if they will declare for the NBA draft.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • **FILE** In this April 23, 2013 photo, Cuba's former pitcher Conrado Marrero, the world's oldest living former major league baseball player, holds up a baseball with his signature at his home, two days before is 102nd birthday, as he holds an unlit cigar in his mouth in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

    Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday

  • Washington Wizards guard John Wall, left, and Bradley Beal celebrate the Wizards' 101-99 win as Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich walks off the court after missing two free throws during the overtime period of Game 2 in an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    HARRIS: D.C. not yet spellbound by Wizards, but they’re no illusion

  • Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III watches Baylor and Central Florida play during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

    Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race

  • Washington Wizards forward Nene, left, guards Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer during the first half in Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Chicago, Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Early returns show projections of physical Wizards-Bulls series were correct

  • Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) celebrates after catching a 25 yard touchdown in the first quarter as the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles in Monday Night NFL football at FedExField, Landover, Md., Monday, September 9, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

    Dan Snyder: DeSean Jackson ‘really a good guy’

  • Celebrities In The News
  • ** FILE ** In this March 19, 2013, file photo, Justin Bieber performs during a concert at Bercy Arena in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

    Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip

  • FILE - This Jan. 8, 2014 file photo shows singer Chris Brown, right, arriving at the District of Columbia Superior Court in Washington. After a brief postponement, singer Chris Brown's trial on an assault charge is scheduled to begin in Washington. Brown's trial had been set for Monday but was delayed while lawyers tried to work out whether his bodyguard will testify. It's unclear whether the trial will start Wednesday, as Brown's lawyers seem to want, or if further legal maneuvering will delay it.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

    Chris Brown assault trial delayed again

  • Justin Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial