South Plains

Grantham Gillard will visit Arkansas State

Juco swingman visiting the Red Wolves.

In his quest to find a place to play Division I basketball, Grantham Gillard has done a lot of traveling in three years.

Now at South Plains (Texas) Community College, the 6-foot-4 swing player has gone from high school in Minneapolis, Minn., to Northwestern (Wyo.) College to Texas. On Thursday, he makes a trip to Jonesboro on what Arkansas State coaches are hoping is his final stop.

“I’ve very excited to see Arkansas State and A-State Nation,’ said Grantham, whose South Plains team was one of the best in the nation. “I’ve heard a lot of great things about it. They have good coaches and good players.”

South Plains finished 32-2.
“We had a great year, we just got upset in the final four of the national,’’ he said. “We just lost two games.”

This past season, Gillard averaged 10.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in a little more than 16 minutes a game. He shot 47 percent from the field, 43 percent on 3-pointers and 69 percent free throws.

At Northwest College, he averaged 15.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and was selected the team’s player of the year. He shot 42 percent from the field, 40 percent on 3-pointers, and 72 percent on free throws.  His brother Garrison, who is now at Kansas Wesleyan, was his teammate at Northwest.

At Eden Prairie, Minn., he was a two-sport standout earning multiple honors in football -- quarterback for two state titles -- and basketball.

“I played quarterback just like my father (Bruce Gillard). I am a second-generation quarterback he played for West Virginia; he had NFL tryouts and played in CFL.

“We were ranked in the nation also. My high school won four state championships in a row in big boy football

“I had some opportunities but decided to play basketball.”

Gillard has the Red Wolves high on his list and expects to make a decision soon. He is planning to visit Arkansas State this week.

“They have talked to me about playing shooting guard but I feel like I am pretty versatile,’’ he said. “I feel like I can adapt to the offense.”

Gillard said A-State Assistant coach Casey Stanley had been monitoring him and following him on Twitter when he was catching in North Carolina and as soon as he was hired at Arkansas State he got in touch with him.

“He came down and watched me work out,’’ he said. “I’ve been in touch with him a lot and with coach (Mike) Balado.

The Red Wolves have one signee for the 2017 class, Marquis Eaton of Jonesboro. They expect to add at least three players before school starts.