Jackson Grant feels like he pulled off a victory. Some 20 of his closest family, friends and coaches gathered at Olympia coach John Kiley’s office.
The main event was Grant, of course, who signed his national letter of intent with University of Washington’s basketball team on Wednesday evening at the start of the early signing period (non-football), which stretches to Nov. 18.
“It was cool to have everyone together, my family and everything,” Grant told SBLive. “I haven’t really had something like that since COVID started.”
ESPN lists the 6-10, 205-pound Grant, a 4-star recruit, as the No. 38 prospect in the country, while 247 Sports pegs him at No. 106 and Rivals has him at No. 71.
When other highly-touted in-state recruits like Paolo Banchero (Duke), Shane Nowell (Arizona), Kaden Perry (Gonzaga) and Tyson Degenhart (Boise State) went elsewhere, Grant became the lone in-state 2021 recruit the Huskies signed Wednesday.
Grant takes pride in that. Huskies coach Mike Hopkins called him on Monday to catch up and touch base ahead of signing day.
“It feels good to finally have it written down on paper and finally have it be official,” Grant, who also held offers from Wisconsin, Oklahoma and several Pac-12 schools, said.
He also feels grateful he committed relatively early in the process — November of his junior year — because of the then-unknown pandemic that lay ahead.
“Once COVID hit this year, the first thing I thought about was my friends that were going to be on my AAU team and man, I don’t know how they’re going to do recruiting without official visits and without circuits, because that’s what really promoted me last year,” Grant said.
Schools saw Grant’s shot-making ability and athleticism playing with Washington Supreme, which carried over to his junior season with Olympia. He averaged 17 points and 11 boards and led the Bears to a fourth place finish in 2020.
Throughout Wednesday, his phone lit up with congratulatory texts from friends and family.
“That’s the whole reason I wanted to stay at Washington was all my family that’s here, that’s not going to be the last time they congratulate me on something, they’re going to be there,” Grant said. The whole journey, everybody that’s been close to me growing up. They’re going to be close.”