Former Irish standout Jerian Grant to NBA draft green room


Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

Former Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant has made a little NBA draft history before he makes draft history.

Or something like that.

On Thursday, Grant will become the first former Irish selected in the first round of the NBA draft since 2003 when Ryan Humphrey was a first-round pick (No. 19 overall) by the Utah Jazz. Humphrey was traded on draft night to the Orlando Magic.

On Monday, Grant was one of 19 former college or current international players to accept an invitation to sit in the draft’s green room at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. It will be the first time that a former Irish player will be in the green room on draft night since 2001 when former Notre Dame All-American Troy Murphy was a first-round draft pick (No. 14 overall) of the Golden State Warriors.

Irish coach Mike Brey is expected to join Grant and his family at Barclays Center.

Grant is one of three former Atlantic Coast Conference players to accept green-room invitations. He’ll join Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow. Former Blue Devil point guard Tyus Jones, also expected to be a first-round pick, declined.

Most mock draft have Grant, who averaged 16.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists his senior season in leading Notre Dame to a 32-6 record, going somewhere between the Nos. 17 and 22 picks. A combo guard in college, Grant is projected as a point guard in the NBA. He’s considered one of the top three point guards in the draft.

Grant likely will have draft company with former Irish teammate Pat Connaughton, who is a likely second-round selection. That would mark the first time since 1992 (LaPhonso Ellis, Elmer Bennett) that Notre Dame has had multiple NBA draft selections.

Notre Dame's Jerian Grant will be in the green room for Thursday's NBA draft, where he will be a first-round pick.SBT Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ