It was Horace Grant that ran with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the early 90s. But to locals around the Washington, D.C. area, it was his identical twin brother; Harvey that Bullets fans remember most after the franchise drafted him in 1988. After a slow start to his career, Harvey would finish as a runner up for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award after finishing the 1990-1991 season with averages of 18.2 points per game and a career high 7.2 rebounds per game. Grant would average just around 18 points per game for the next two seasons before being traded to Portland in the 1993 season.

Grant returned to the Bullets in another trade in 1996 but his career was already winding down for the then-31 year-old. Although he officially retired after the 1998-1999 season, Grant, briefly director of player development for his old team that has been renamed the Wizards, could be on his way to reemerging in the NBA, although this time not as a player but as a father of a player.

Grant’s four sons (from oldest to youngest), Jerai, Jerian, Jerami and Jaelin, all have taken to the hardwood like their dad. The oldest just graduated from Clemson this spring and could be on his way overseas after being skipped in this June’s NBA draft. Jerian expects to start next season in his second year at Notre Dame while Jerami, a 6-foot-8-inch small forward/power forward at DeMatha, alma mater to his two older brothers, is one of the top seniors in the area and currently being recruited by mega schools Georgetown, Syracuse and Notre Dame.

Despite Jerami’s potential, Jerian’s hard work and Jerai’s future as an international star, it could be the youngest of the Grant group that trumps all of his brothers. Already a 6-foot-5 eighth grader, Jaelin is expected to start in his freshman season at DeMatha next year. The AFRO was fortunate to catch up with Harvey recently to talk a little family, fun and basketball.

AFRO: You have four sons all playing organized basketball right now. Although the oldest just graduated, he’s likely to be playing somewhere next season. How did you get all your sons involved in the sport?

Grant: It started with my oldest son, who just graduated from Clemson. When I was playing he was around basketball all the time. He used to be the ball boy for the Bullets when I played so he kind of grew up around it and of course once you have an older brother that’s been around it, the next one wants to learn from him and then the next one and so on.

AFRO: Talk about your third oldest son, Jerami. Major colleges across the country are falling in love with him and his size. A versatile wing who was DeMatha’s best defender last season, what do you see in him that makes him special and what areas of his game does he have to improve upon to take that next step?

Grant: He has to get stronger but in time he can do that. He has to work on his midrange game, he takes the ball to the hole pretty good but his midrange game and free throws are the biggest areas for improvement right now.

AFRO: With four sons all devoted to basketball, pickup games in the Grant household have to be very interesting.
Grant: No question. Whenever they play one-on-one or two-on-two they’re very competitive and I’ve seen some wars but it’s a good thing. They make each other better.

AFRO: Once your youngest son, Jaelin, finally dons a DeMatha jersey next season, that’ll be four sons who have all played and starred at the famed Hyattsville, Md. Catholic school. Could you talk about the family’s link to DeMatha and why have all your sons decided to play there?
Grant: It started with my oldest son when we first came here and we were looking for a good school academically and basketball-wise and it was a no brainer for us to pick DeMatha. And once you have one go and everything works out and then you have another go and everything works out, they win championships and they graduate and they’re good scholars, it’s really a no brainer. If I had seven sons I would send them all to DeMatha.

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO