Grantham continues strong
After having the best game of his freshman season at Shepherd’s Butcher Center, former Jefferson High basketball player Garrett Grantham has basically done the same thing as a sophomore here in 2013-14.
Playing for West Virginia Wesleyan in the newly-formed Mountain East Conference, Grantham’s most points this season came against the Rams when Shepherd visited Buckhannon during the first semester.
Although the Bobcats were beaten by Shepherd last season when Grantham was a freshman, the 5-foot-10 guard scored 16 points while playing for the only time back in Jefferson County.
Grantham is a 2012 graduate of Jefferson High School where for four years on the Cougar varsity team, he was coached by his grandfather, Bob Starkey.
Now in his second season of collegiate basketball, Garrett’s coach is former WVU guard Pat Beilein, the son of current Michigan coach John Beilein.
When the Bobcats had played 11 first-semester games, before breaking for the Christmas holidays, Garrett had his highest scoring game of the early-season against Shepherd when the Rams were in Buckhannon in November for a Mountain East Conference game.
Garrett hadn’t started any of those 11 games, but had played in all of them, reaching double figures once. And that was when Shepherd was in town at the Rockefeller Center.
The smallish Bobcats are not a high-scoring outfit, and they are not deep in talented scorers, rebounders or all-around players.
As a reserve, Garrett gets his playing time because he is an outside shooting threat with enough range and accuracy to make Bobcat opponents aware of his scoring potential.
His knowledge of the game and offensive fundamentals make him an asset even if he doesn’t shoot often or score often.
Oftentimes, college coaches recruit athletes who are the sons (or grandsons) of high school basketball coaches, knowing the players’ reputation as polished free throw shooters, dribblers, passers and floor generals with an understanding of what hectic, unplanned situations call for.
West Virginia Wesleyan seems to lack the firepower, consistent rebounding and depth to challenge the more talented teams in its new conference.
Any win the Bobcats achieve against the likes of West Liberty, Shepherd, Fairmont, Glenville or Charleston will be a feather in their cap because it will take special games from at least four or five players to defeat any of those five schools.
The Bobcats come to see Shepherd for a return game on Feb. 3 in the Rams’ Butcher Center. It was the Butcher Center that Garrett had his best scoring game of last season with 16 points.
Garret is the son of Gary and Sandi Grantham, and the grandson of long-time Shepherd men’s basketball coach Bob Starkey, who graduated from Shepherd and coached there for 20 years before moving to Jefferson High to serve as coach there.