2015 Intro: Austin Grandstaff

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Basketball has always been an integral part of Austin Grandstaff's life.

His father, Wes Grandstaff, founded the Team Texas AAU program in the mid-90s and has been on the AAU circuit since as its head coach.

Austin, a rising sophomore at Rockwall (Texas) Rowlett, has been to hundreds of tournaments across the country, spent long summer days sleeping on hard bleachers and regularly had babysitters that went on to play in the NBA.

Now, with the early look of an elite 2015 prospect, he's no longer in the bleachers.

"It's a blessing to be able to play in an event like this," said Austin. "Not every kid gets to play in front of hundreds of college coaches and the top college coaches at that. Just to know that they're here to watch you, that's pretty cool."

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, as well as assistant C.B. McGrath, were among the coaches who watched Austin at the EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam this past week. In addition, staff members from Arizona, Wisconsin, Kansas and Texas took in Team Texas 16U games that featured Austin.

Wes and Austin know Roy Williams well. When he was at Kansas, Williams signed Keith Langford from Team Texas.

"I've just always kind of been a big Roy Williams fan," Wes said. "I like his passion. He doesn't get his point across by cussing at kids and acting crazy. When kids leave his program, they know he loves them and he's made an impact on their life."

With Wes's experience on the recruiting scene, he knows that a program like UNC doesn't usually ramp up its recruitment of a player this early. He said UNC has sent Austin a few letters and placed a call to his high school coach.

Should UNC increase communication, Austin said he will be receptive.

"They have a really good history and program," he said. "I went there in fourth grade with my team (to camp). I liked it a lot, it's a beautiful campus. If they started recruiting me heavy, I'd definitely be interested them."

Austin, listed at 6-4, 170 pounds, believes he'll play a combo guard role at the school he eventually commits to.

"I'm definitely a combo guard, but during AAU ball I play a little more of a "2,"" he said. "I still get a lot of assists and I can score and feed the ball to the big men and my shooters. I just like to distribute the ball to my teammates and make everybody else better."

Wes said Team Texas likes for Austin to simply "make everyone around him better."

"He's a get-everybody-involved type of player and he's a winner – he knows how to win," Wes explained. "His job is to not just be a guy that stands out there and shoots, but to make things happen for everybody."

Early in the process, Austin has already grabbed offers from Arizona and Texas A&M, while receiving interest from Kansas, Marquette, Duke, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Texas and Baylor, in addition to UNC. He's taken unofficial visits to Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Oklahoma.

"He can play in any offense," said Wes. "He can play in a real structured offense or a get up the floor, have fun offense – it really doesn't matter."

Austin said he doesn't plan to take any more visits following summer ball, opting to instead vacation with his family and prepare for the high school season.

"I just want to get bigger and stronger," he explained. "I want be a lot faster with the ball and I've been working with my ball-handling a lot…. Hopefully it starts paying off."

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