Golden commits to playing basketball at Richmond
As soon as he was offered, Grant Golden knew the University of Richmond was where he wanted to be.
Golden, the former Sherando basketball standout and Middletown native, took an official visit to Richmond on Sept. 12, and verbally committed to Richmond on Sept. 15.
“That’s where I was born,” Golden said in a phone interview Thursday. “My parents have a lot of friends that still live there. We go down there a lot. And I always told them if Richmond or VCU ever started recruiting me, that’s where I would want to go just so I could go back to the city of Richmond.”
Golden went to Sherando his first two years of high school, before transferring to Saint James School in Hagerstown, Maryland, last year. Golden is now a senior at Saint James.
The 6-foot-8 Golden had 12 offers from Division 1 schools but said he narrowed them down to five – Richmond, James Madison University, University of San Diego, Wofford College and George Washington University.
He said that Richmond came to watch him play at an Amateur Athletic union tournament in Las Vegas in July, and offered him a basketball scholarship shortly after the tournament.
Golden said once he met the team, he knew it was where he wanted to be.
“Honestly, probably the selling point for me was when I did go down there and visit, just hanging out with the guys,” Golden said. “The guys are awesome, probably the best group of guys that I have been around on all my visits. That was really the selling point for me. I knew those were some guys that I would want to play my next four years of basketball with. That’s what I wanted to do.”
Golden said he also wanted to stay in Virginia, if possible, so that his family and friends could come watch him play.
In his sophomore year at Sherando, Golden led the team averaging 18.1 points per game. He also averaged 7.7 rebounds per game.
He said it was a tough decision to leave Sherando.
“I still talk to my friends at Sherando all the time,” Golden said. “To leave them was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but I knew that if I went to Saint James that in the long run it would be a better spot for me basketball wise and education wise. I knew to better myself that was just the best place I could possibly be.”
Golden has a very familiar face by his side at Saint James as his brother Bryce also attends the school and plays basketball. The 6-foot-10 Bryce Golden is a sophomore this season, and has also received numerous offers from Division 1 basketball schools.
Grant Golden said that he broke his ankle in the second game of last season, and Bryce stepped in and filled his spot in the starting lineup last year.
“He had to step up and start as a freshman, and playing at the level that we do and the teams that we do, it was just unreal to see him grow and develop basketball wise,” Grant Golden said. “So he got a lot of experience under his belt last year, and we’re really counting on him to play a big role this year as a sophomore. I think he’ll have a great year, and I’m excited for him.”
Grant Golden said that he’s talked to the Richmond coaching staff and they want him to play at power forward. He said that junior T.J. Cline is the starter at power forward right now, and he’s looking forward to learning from him.
“They want me to come in and they just want me to compete,” Golden said. “If I go in there and do well and I get some minutes that’s great. If I have to come in and come off the bench and learn from T.J. that’s great too. T.J.’s a great kid. It will be great going in and learning from him as a freshman. Either way I’m just ready to accept the role and have a great freshman year.”
Last year the Spiders went 21-14, including 12-6 in the Atlantic 10. The Atlantic 10 is a strong conference, featuring schools such as VCU, Davidson, Dayton and Rhode Island.
Golden said he will sign his letter of intent on Nov. 15 at Saint James, along with two of his high school teammates.
Golden said that he’s excited to know that he will be playing at the Division 1 level next year.
“So much work went into this,” Golden said. “You think about this from a very, very young age. So just to see all the hard work finally paying off and coming all together here at the end is awesome. Hopefully I can have a great senior year with my last year of high school ball and move on to college. Lots of hard work went into it and I’m happy.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org