Cajuns Basketball Lands Top Georgia Recruit

Hassani Gravett, a 6-foot-2 combo guard who graduated last spring from Alexander (Ga.) High School, told the Cajun Redzone on Sunday that he’s verbally committed to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and will enroll at the school in December.

Last season Gravett averaged more than 20 points per game and was named Georgia’s Class AAAA player of the year after signing with Gardner-Webb last November. The 17th-best Georgia recruit in Hoopseen.com’s final Class of 2014 rankings attended Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy until September and is now working out with a trainer near his hometown of Douglasville about 20 miles west of Atlanta.

“I really like the coaching staff there,” said Gravett, a high school honors student who visited Louisiana in October. “The team has a bunch of really good guys and there’s talent there. It’s an up-and-coming program on the rise and I think I can play my role there as a combo guard and help them win. We’ve talked about me likely redshirting this season since they’ve already started practicing and I’m good with that.”

An explosive scorer and playmaker, the sharp-shooting Gravett also claimed offers from Murray State, Cleveland State, Samford and UNC Wilmington as well as interest from Tennessee before committing to the Cajuns. Last season the Cajuns made the NCAA tournament and produced an NBA lottery pick in point guard Elfrid Payton.

“I was in touch with their coaches a lot while at Hargrave and got to know them,” Gravett said of the Cajuns. “They told me that they needed a scorer and I’m very aggressive and can handle the ball very well. They need somebody to fill Elfrid’s shoes and those are some big shoes, but I think with my talent that I can come in and handle that. I also knew one of their players Jay Wright was from Georgia, so we really bonded when I visited there.”

Last season Gravett averaged 20.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and two steals per game at Alexander High. His play helped the Cougars go 26-4 and advance to the Class AAAA state semifinals.

In addition to being Georgia’s Class AAAA player of the year, Gravett was named the Region 5-AAAA player of the year and was an All-Metro pick by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. He was also selected to play in the GACA All-Star game.

His prep career ended with a bang as Gravett scored a career-high 46 points on 13-for-19 shooting in an overtime loss to eventual Class AAAA state champ Jonesboro in the state semifinals. Gravett – who went 8-for-11 from 3 and 12-for-13 at the free throw line – scored 26 of Alexander’s 35 points in the second half and all seven in overtime.

Last year Gravett held offers from USC Upstate, Navy and Stetson before signing with Gardner-Webb. Some of the schools that showed interest in him included Ole Miss, East Carolina, Western Kentucky, Wofford and Jacksonville.

After graduating from Alexander High, Gravett went to Hargrave before returning home at the end of September to train.

“My intentions were to play at Hargrave,” Gravett said. “I was under the impression I could take college credit courses there and work on my game. When I got there I was taking classes and one of my teachers asked why I was in the ACT course and I said I was trying to get college credit. He told me I couldn’t take the test because I’d already graduated from high school. That really upset me. Basketball is big in my life, but education comes first. That’s when we decided we were going to move on.”

In December, Gravett plans to be enrolled in college and practicing with the Cajuns.

“On my visit they welcomed me to the team like I already knew them and that was a good feeling,” he said. “I really like their family environment there.”

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