Fast Breaks: Malcolm Grant
Nov. 7, 2011
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – They are stories of perseverance. Stories about growing up, becoming men and being a part of a family. One-by-one, we hear from them. These are the Miami Hurricanes…
Malcolm Grant | Guard | Senior | Brooklyn, N.Y.
I started playing basketball at the age of four. When I was young and my parents wanted me to stop crying they would put on Michael Jordan “Come Fly with Me” and I would sit on the end of the couch and watch the whole tape.
My family is my whole life. I love them. They’ve been with me through thick and thin and I don’t know where I would be without them.
The U is a family-oriented place. I’m so glad I came here and I’m always going to be a part of the U.
Playing basketball has given me so many experiences. It has shown me that I have truly been blessed and I’m just thankful every day that I’m able to play the game. I’ve been able to travel around the world. I’ve been to France because of basketball. I’ve played in the world’s most famous arena in Madison Square Garden, so the game means everything to me. Basketball has given me so much joy. When I’m having problems off the court, those problems go away when I step on the court because it’s something I love doing. It’s my life. Hopefully, one day when I have kids, I can pass it on to them.
I like to play video games, watch movies, and sing in the house, stuff like that. I play NBA2k the latest one, Uncharted, things like that. When I get my vocals warmed up, I think I can compete at a high level.
When I was introduced to Coach L I started smiling. I was happy to see him. I remember playing against him when I was at Villanova. So I wanted to see if he would remember me and surely he did. He said “I hope you’re going to hit as many threes for us as you did against us.”
The hardest part of being away from home is missing my family every day, especially my niece and my nephews. I love them so much and I don’t get a chance to see them a lot, so when I go home I try to make sure I’m around them and show them how much I miss them.
I can’t lie I’m addicted to my phone. Everybody always gets on me. I’m always texting. Always on the phone. I’m just talking to family members and friends or sometimes I’m just on Google looking up stuff. My best Google search is looking at Beyonce’s photos.
I’ve learned how to be a respectful young man, how to carry myself with class and treat others with respect. My family, my mother and my father taught me those things.
I was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. I love Brooklyn. It’s everything that I am because I was born there. It’s just fun to be there and I miss all my friends and just the environment.
In my house growing up on Saturdays, early in the morning, like eight o’clock I was bouncing the ball, throwing the ball on the walls. My brothers and my mother would be yelling saying “Sit down, stop dribbling!” But my father would be like “Hey, this is your dream, keep doing it.” So that was my house every day, especially on the weekends.
When I was growing up I thought I was a Power Ranger, especially the green one, Tommy. When the show came on and Tommy wasn’t on there I was mad because that’s who I wanted to see. I used to mimic him in class and at home sometimes.
When I played basketball as a kid, I pretended to be Michael Jordan. I was at the house with my Fisher Price rim dunking with my tongue out, trying all kinds to dunks, breaking plants in the house. I was doing all types of stuff. Then I also thought I was Kenny Anderson. I thought I was my brother Lavar Grant. Every other day I was somebody different. I had everything that Mike had, including the shoes.
I’ll never forget the first time I met Michael Jordan. It was after his game, we all took a picture and I was just staring at him because I couldn’t believe the man I looked up to for so long was right in front of me. I took a picture with him then I spoke with him and asked him how he used to make those unbelievable shots. He told me he used to practice them all the time, and that’s one thing I remembered.
I’m a Hurricane because I wouldn’t have it any other way in the world. I bleed the green, the white and the orange so that’s where I want to be for life.
Some of my personal goals especially this year, I want to be Player of the Year, I want to be first team All-ACC. Hopefully, God-willing, I’ll be able to make it to the NBA and take care of my family and my neighborhood. I want to be able to come back and give tournaments and show my face and show that just because I made it, I haven’t changed. I’m still the same person everyone knew when I was growing up and I appreciate what they all have done for me. The whole neighborhood knew me because they knew my father. Everyone knew my father. Every time I walk around they said “that’s pops”, they called my father pops. Just growing up, whatever park I went to, everyone knew me and made sure I stayed in line and didn’t get in trouble. If I make it, I’ll let those people know I remember that.
At the U I’ve learned so much from my teammates and my peers. Just interacting with them and they’re always with me when I’m going through things. Lance Hurdle really took me under his wing. He’s a former player on the basketball team. That’s my brother and my right hand man. When I got here he definitely took me under his wing and to this day we’re still close.
My favorite thing about the U family is how loving it is. When we’re playing, you see other sports in the arena cheering us on and vice versa. When those guys are playing football or women’s basketball, we’re in the stands cheering for them. So I like that and appreciate that.
One thing people need to know about UM hoops is that we’re going to be really good this year and we’re going to get to the tournament. From this year on, we’re going to be an elite basketball team.
I didn’t think I would make it this far in basketball. You know I was just playing the game and you never know what happens in life. It just shows that if you work hard and believe in God and just let him take care of it, then anything is possible.
Competition is everything to me. If you ask Durand or Reggie, when I’m in the room playing a game and I’m losing, I’ve broken plenty of things, punch walls. I can’t lose. I can’t control it so sometimes I get beside myself and I have to control myself a little bit.
I like to compete against North Carolina and Duke. Everybody looks at them as the standard of success and they’re the best team. So anytime I get a chance to compete against them I always want to come out on top.
I’m looking forward to playing against every player. Whoever steps in front of me, I want to make sure they remember that name.
I secretly wish I could fly. I don’t know why but sometimes I find myself in the room and I just wish I could get up and fly to this place or that place. I guess it’s because I watched Superman when I was younger.
New York is a place where dreams come true. (big smile) The Big Apple. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.