Gant almost there

Signing during the "Early Signing Period" affords a top basketball prospect the peace of mind that recruiting is over and they are well on their way to starting their college career. However, there's that pesky matter of qualifying and Crenshaw's Darnell Gant, who signed early with Washington last November, still has yet to reach that certain benchmark although he says he's pretty close.

"I just need 30 points on the SAT and I should be fine," Gant told recently. "I sent in my application and everything else is good I'm just studying and working hard and trying to get those points and get my grades up so I can be on the honor roll for next semester.

"If I get my grades high enough I might only need 10 or 20 points on the SAT. I think I have a good chance to do really well this next semester so we'll see. I just have to stay focused and work hard and I'll be fine."

Gant has also been in contact with his future coaches and they've made sure that the Gant knows how important he is to them.

"I talked to coach (Paul) Fortier the other day and I talked to coach (Lorenzo) Romar the other day about the SAT," Gant said. "I talk to them all the time and we have a regular relationship on the phone so it's good. They are just making sure I know they want me up there soon."

Gant had an excellent senior season for Crenshaw, posting 22 pts, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks, but he was more concerned about the teamwork on his squad.

"We had some things inside the team that we needed to get rid of, like things with certain players, and when we got rid of certain problems and players and started playing as a whole unit we became, not national contenders, but city contenders," Gant said. "We should have been able to make it to the city championships and possibly gone to state, but we lost to Fairfax in the second-round of the playoffs.

"They were a more disciplined team than us. They were just as talented as us, but they were a lot more disciplined than us."

Speaking of discipline, one player that Gant is looking forward to developing some with is Washington's Jon Brockman.

"Every practice, if I'm going up against Jon or working with Jon, he's a guy who will push you and work you the hardest," Gant said. "When I go to a team, I always look for people who work the hardest and want to get the job done and I put myself in that situation, so when they're doing that they're pushing me to my limit to help me get better and at the same time, they're pushing themselves to another level too.

"Jon is a big guy and he's just as fast as me and he's 250 and I'm 205 so that just shows you how much strength he has."

Up next for Gant is the Dreamvision All-American Game at San Diego State University where he'll play with the likes of Chace Stanback (UCLA), James Harden (Arizona State) and Taylor King (Duke).

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