Neither Rutgers nor Seton Hall showed Omari Grier interest out of high school and Saturday an opportunity for a statement. Grier grew up in South Jersey but his recruitment took him elsewhere.
Saturday marks Grier's first spotlight game at Rutgers and he cannnot wait to be a part of the Garden State Hardwood Classic.
"I didn't really receive too much noteriety or too much publicity from any of the schools around here," Grier said on New Jersey basketball. "It's good to be able to have that chip on my shoulder coming into this game as well. To be able to play at this level that I am right now is truly a blessing. I'm just excited to be a part of it."
Grier took on a reserve role in early games for Rutgers (3-4) before coach Eddie Jordan started him against Wake Forest. He received a season-high 17 minutes with eight points as Jordan seeks better production from the wing.
Although Grier averages just 11 minutes and 3.5 points per game, both numbers will trend upwards after the knee injury to forward DeShawn Freeman.
"You just have to step in and be able to contribute when your name is called," said the 6-foot-4 Grier. "With the season starting off, I didn't receive as many minutes as I wanted to but this time of the year shows what I can do and to be able to take that leadership role to keep this train rolling. Even though those guys are hurt, this train is still rolling. We still have guys that have to step up and play their part. I feel like it's an opportunity. I'm ready to take advantage of that."