Jerami Grant doesn’t know if he will make the final cut for the U.S. U19 team when the roster is announced Sunday morning, but the experience has already been valuable.
“It’s been a good experience getting ready to play with some great players,” the 6-foot-8 Grant out of Syracuse told SNY.tv by phone from training in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I’ve played with great players so far since we’ve been here, so it’s definitely been a humbling experience like it was last year.”
Grant was a member of the 2012 U18 National Team that won gold at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. That showing qualified the Americans for the U19 World Championship June 27-July 7 in Prague.
So far in training camp, Grant has been guarding Brandon Ashley of Arizona and other wing players, which he believes will help him as a sophomore with the Orange.
“It’s going to help a lot,” he said. “Just like last year it helped going into Syracuse being able to play with a lot of great players. You play with more confidence, so it definitely helped me a lot.”
After averaging 3.9 points and 3.0 rebounds as a frosh, Grant figures to have a bigger role next season with the departures of Michael Carter-Williams to the NBA Draft and James Southerland and Brandon Triche to graduation.
C.J. Fair returns and will be the main go-to guy, but Grant figures to have an expanded role, too.
“I think I will have a bigger role, obviously,” he said. “We’re losing three starters pretty much. It will definitely be a bigger role. I’m not sure what the role is yet, but I’m sure Coach [Jim] Boeheim will let me know.”
As far as Syracuse’s newcomers, Grant said he’s familiar with incoming point guard Tyler Ennis from St. Benedict’s Prep, who figures to make the Canadian U19 roster, and has been impressed.
“I got to watch Tyler Ennis play enough to know his game and I think he’l be a great addition to our team next year,” GRant said.
As for moving into the ACC, Grant is looking forward to playing Duke (twice) and North Carolina.
“I’m definitely excited,” the Bowie, MD native said. “Those are two of the greatest schools in history, so it’s going to be exciting to play of them. We get to play Duke twice next year, so I’m definitely excited for those games.”
For now, he’s just hoping to make the final cut.
“It would mean a lot to play for my country again,” he said. “It would mean everything, it would be one of my greatest achievements.”
**For more stories on the USA U19 & U16 teams, click here.