Adrion Graves Names Leader

Life hasn't been easy for Adrion Graves. That may be one of the reasons why the Ohio shooting guard takes his late emergence on the national scene with a grain of salt.

With all that Adrion Graves has been through, rankings are meaningless and so is the national notoriety that has, for the most part, eluded him.

Despite putting up impressive numbers (24.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg) as a junior at Cincinnati Hughes High (Ohio) as a junior last season, Hughes has never really received his just due.

But honestly, that's fine with the 6-foot-4, 190-pound senior shooting guard who was raised in a foster home for the majority of his life.

``I think it may be because the team I play with (Queen City Prophets) isn't high-profile," Graves said. "But it doesn't really matter to me."

Graves, who turns 19 on Nov. 1, spent the first 13 years of his life in a foster home before he and his siblings moved back with his biological mother, Jeanell Graves, when Adrion was just about to become a teen-ager.

``It was hectic," Graves said. "I was in one foster home and there were a lot of whoopings. It make me a stronger person. I respected my mom, so when I moved back in with her, I was more than happy."

Whether it's because of his background or not, it's unlikely that Graves will leave the state of Ohio for college. While schools like Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall have made their pitch, Dayton remains his leader – with Cincinnati and Xavier rounding out his top three.

``I'll probably stay close to home," Graves admitted. ``Dayton's been recruiting me the longest."

However, Graves is expected to take an official visit to Tennessee on Sept. 3.

Graves' biggest asset is his athleticism and his ability to get to the basket, but he's also displayed a more-than adequate shot from the perimeter which helped the Queens City Prophets advance to the quarterfinals at the AAU Nationals last month in Orlando.

``One reason why it took so long for him to get noticed is that we're in a hotbed of talent right now," said Queen City Prophets coach Ozie Davis III. "But he's a combination of Dwayne Wade and Latrell Sprewell. He's got a rangy jumper that's somewhat consistent, he can slash to the basket and he's got an unmatched competitiveness."

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