Grant Greabell: Take Notice

by Justin Vargas | Posted on Sunday, January 28th, 2018

Estrella Foothills senior combo guard Grant Greabell does not play above the rim.  Grant Greabell will not cross anyone over and make the gym go crazy.  He will not blow past a good defender with lightning quickness or send a shot in mid-air to the stands and wave his finger at you.  So, what will Grant Greabell do to make you not want any part of him on the basketball court?  He will break you down piece by piece.  He will frustrate you with his accuracy from the 3-point line.  He will outsmart you with his advanced basketball IQ.  He will use that same IQ to collect double-digit rebounds, not by out-jumping you, but by reading the ball off the rim and tracking it down.

He has formed a really good 1-2 punch for the Wolves with 6-foot-8 junior big man Shaun Wahlstrom. You can see he knows when his skilled big man has a mismatch in a conference that doesn’t have any guys of his size and strength.  He feeds him in the flow of the game, while still understanding it is his outside shooting and playmaking ability that makes them go.

He played against the 2nd ranked team in 4A, Buckeye on Tuesday night in front of the home crowd that has embraced him as their superstar.  In that game Greabell was impressive, with a near triple-double stat line of 33 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists against one of the state’s elite defenses.  He also figured out how to single-handedly break a Buckeye full-court press that nobody in the state has figured out how to break yet.

“I saw that they really gamble on the corners, and try to bait you into making that pass, so I looked that pass off to open up the middle of the court to break it,” said Greabell when I asked him his strategy to doing it.  After which, I asked him who’s game-plan that was?  Coaching strategy?  Team strategy?  He humbly and almost hesitantly replied, “um, I just kind of saw it so that’s what I did.”

It is the combination of his basketball IQ and his humility that makes him such an intriguing kid and player.  He is mature beyond his years.  He has some bloodlines as well as his father played at University of Albany, and is the one that works with him on his game.  The fact that they work on his game at a neighborhood park explains his lunch-pale attitude.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, he holds a 4.0 unweighted GPA and attends all honors classes.

The Greabell family has called the West Valley home since 2006, moving to the Southwest from Upstate New York.  He played for Team Zona on the AAU circuit in 2017, and while he has not picked up any Division-I offer’s yet, he has received interest from schools such as Northern Arizona, Eastern Washington, Sacramento State, Northern Colorado and Chaminade.

Grant is not a kid who is not in tune with who he is as a player and/or who he is not. He will be the first one to tell you that he believes he hasn’t been more heavily recruited because, “I don’t do anything that makes a highlight," said Greabell.  "I am smart and I can shoot and I play the right way, and I make the right pass.  But I don’t jump out of the gym or dunk on anybody.  I also play in the far West Valley where there isn’t a lot of exposure or people coming out to watch us play.”

It takes a serious degree of maturity and understanding to see things like that and be able to openly admit them as an athlete.

However, he is patient.  He will wait to make a decision as to where he will attend school at the next level, until something feels right.  If he has to, he will travel the Spring Circuit and take part in Spring Showcases, until the right offer comes along.  If a school is smart, they will jump on him sooner rather than later, and try to make him a part of their program moving forward.  While he will not ‘wow’ you with athleticism or speed, he is still north of 6-foot-2, 175-pounds. While he still could use some work on his handle, so he can transition more into a pure point guard, he has the acumen and the vision to play the position at the next level.  Add in the fact that he is a deadly shooter from outside and plays hard, and has the academics behind him, how can you miss on a player and kid like that at the right level?

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