Grant's Army: Marching Up Legacy List Regarding First Families of Hoops
"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." - Desmond Tutu
At first glance to God-fearing fans, it appears as if Grant's Army was retreating after Jerian Grant exited Notre Dame because of academic shortcomings. But Jerian's departure has been somewhat offset in the giving Grant household by the emergence of brother Jerami as Syracuse's leading rebounder. Combined with older brother Jerai, the leading rebounder for Clemson's 2011 NCAA playoff team, and father Harvey, an All-American for Oklahoma's 1988 NCAA Tournament runner-up, the "College Grants" rank among the top five hoop families in NCAA annals regarding a legacy list; especially if Jerian follows through on his promise to return to the Irish next season and youngest son Jaelin is comparable to his brothers when he leaves high school in a couple of years.
Elsewhere, it seems somewhat ridiculous for a power conference school such as Indiana to offer a scholarship to an eighth-grader (Eron Gordon) a couple of years ago. But that is before examining his family tree. His father, Eric Sr., averaged 14.1 points per game with Liberty from 1981-82 through 1983-84, leading the Flames in scoring as a senior with 18.1 ppg before the school moved up to the NCAA Division I level later in the decade. Oldest brother Eric Jr. led the Big Ten Conference in scoring as a freshman All-American in his lone season with IU in 2007-08 before moving on to the NBA. Older brother Evan was named to the Big South Conference All-Freshman team with Liberty in 2009-10 before becoming an all-league second-team selection as a sophomore prior to transferring to Arizona State and moving on again to Eric Jr.'s old stomping grounds with the Hoosiers. If Eron lives up to billing, the Gordons could become one of the most influential families in college basketball history.
Hoopdom's "Focus on the Family" will also concentrate on the Plumlees if youngest brother Marshall Plumlee overcomes his foot problems and improves as much as Duke siblings Mason and Miles. They could combine with their father, former Tennessee Tech frontcourter Perky, to comprise one of the all-time premier family units. Mason became the Blue Devils' go-to plumb line to keep them on the straight and narrow last season after forgoing leaving school early for the NBA.
Until we have a final reading on the Gordons and Plumlees, following are a dynamic dozen nuclear-power families. The "HoopDaddys" comprised of college players who had at least three sons also go on to compete in a significant way at a similar level include:
BARRY BARRY GOOD
1. Barry - Father Rick Barry, a first-team All-American as a senior when he led the nation in scoring, averaged 29.8 ppg and 16.5 rpg for Miami (FL) from 1962-63 through 1964-65. Son Scooter averaged 3.3 ppg for Kansas' 1988 NCAA titlist before leading the Jayhawks with 5.7 apg the next season. Son Jon, a junior college transfer, averaged 14.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 4.5 apg for Pacific and Georgia Tech in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Son Brent averaged 12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 3.3 apg for Oregon State from 1991-92 through 1994-95. Son Drew, an All-ACC second-team selection as a senior, averaged 10.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 6.2 apg for Georgia Tech from 1992-93 through 1995-96, leading the ACC in assists each of his last three seasons. Son Canyon, a redshirt freshman for the College of Charleston, was averaging 9.4 ppg and 2.7 rpg in the Cougars' debut season in the CAA before being sidelined with a finger injury. Jon, an All-ACC third-team selection as a junior in 1991-92, and Brent, an All-Pacific-10 Conference choice as a senior, were late bloomers who went on to have productive NBA careers. Rick, Jon and Brent were NBA first-round draft choices while Drew was a second-round pick. Bruce Hale, Rick's father-in-law and a Santa Clara alumnus, coached him at Miami (FL) after playing five years in the NBA.
WALTON MOUNTAIN GANG
2. Walton - Father Bill Walton, a three-time national player of the year, averaged 20.3 ppg and 15.7 rpg for UCLA from 1971-72 through 1973-74. Son Adam lettered with LSU before incurring a rest-of-season suspension in Dale Brown's final year as coach in 1996-97 and subsequently transferring to a small college in California. Son Nate was an All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton as a senior in 2000-01, becoming the fourth player in school history with two seasons of at least 100 assists. Son Luke, a two-time All-Pacific-10 Conference choice, averaged 9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 4.5 apg for Arizona from 1999-2000 through 2002-03. Son Chris finished among the top 15 in the Mountain West Conference in assists and rebounding as a junior in 2003-04 for San Diego State, finishing his four-year career with averages of 5.1 ppg and 3.4 rpg.
PRICE IS RIGHT CONTROL
3. Price - Father Dennis Price, an All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection as a junior, averaged 10.9 ppg for Oklahoma from 1957-58 through 1959-60. Son Mark, a three-time All-ACC first-team selection and All-American, averaged 17.4 ppg and 4 apg for Georgia Tech from 1982-83 through 1985-86. Son Matt scored 23 points in 18 games as a freshman for Appalachian State in 1984-85. Son Brent, an All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection as a senior, averaged 18 ppg and 5.8 apg for Oklahoma in 1990-91 and 1991-92 after transferring from South Carolina, where he averaged 12.6 ppg and 3.5 apg in 1987-88 and 1988-89.
GRANT'S ARMY MARCHES ON
4. Grant - Father Harvey Grant was an All-American in 1988 as the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer for Oklahoma's NCAA Tournament runner-up. Eldest son Jerai was the leading rebounder for Clemson's 2011 NCAA playoff squad. Jerian was Notre Dame's leader in scoring average each of the past two campaigns. Emerging standout Jerami is the leading rebounder for Syracuse's inaugural ACC club.
HIGH ON HAARLOW
5. Haarlow - Father Bill Haarlow Jr., a three-time All-Western Conference selection for the University of Chicago from 1933-34 through 1935-36, was the league's third-leading scorer as a sophomore (9.9 ppg), leading scorer as a junior (13) and second-leading scorer as a senior (12.6). He had three sons play for Princeton in the 1960s - A. William III averaged 10.8 ppg and 5 rpg in 1962-63, Bob averaged 8.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg from 1963-64 through 1965-66 (second-leading scorer for the Tigers' 1965 Final Four team as a teammate of All-American Bill Bradley) and John averaged 12.6 ppg and 7.3 rpg from 1965-66 through 1967-68 (All-Ivy League second-team selection as a junior). With Bill Jr. cited on CollegeHoopedia.com's comprehensive list of all-time All-Americans, the Haarlows might have been the initial most impactful family on the sport.
6. Paterno - Father Bill Paterno averaged 3.4 ppg with St. Francis (N.Y.) in 1948-49 and 1949-50 after scoring 18 points in nine games in 1947-48. Son Billy averaged 9.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg for Notre Dame from 1973-74 through 1976-77 under coach Digger Phelps, finishing team runner-up in scoring to All-American Adrian Dantley as a sophomore with 13.3 ppg. Son Mike averaged 3.1 ppg for Monmouth in 1987-88. Son Joe averaged 14.6 ppg and 5.1 rpg with Fordham from 1985-86 through 1988-89, leading the Rams in scoring in three seasons and finishing his career as their all-time second-leading scorer. Son Steve averaged 10.8 ppg and 3.6 rpg with Marist from 1987-88 through 1990-91, leading the Red Foxes in scoring as a junior before finishing runner-up as a senior.
TOASTING THE RAIVIOS
7. Raivio - Father Rick Raivio, a three-time All-WCAC selection who led Portland in field-goal shooting all four seasons, finished as the Pilots' all-time leading rebounder (910/9.4 rpg) while averaging 17.2 ppg before becoming a fifth-round draft choice by the Los Angeles Lakers. Son Derek, the WCC co-player of the year as a Gonzaga senior (18 ppg and nation-leading 96.1 FT%), averaged 11.5 ppg and 2.8 apg while shooting 41.6% from beyond the arc from 2003-04 through 2006-07 with Gonzaga en route to becoming the #2 all-time free-throw shooter in DI history (92.7%). Son Nik, a J.C. recruit, was an All-WCC selection as a junior with Portland in 2008-09 when he averaged 16 ppg and 6.5 rpg before heading overseas to play professionally after finishing his Pilots' career with 14.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg. Son Matt averaged 9.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 2.8 apg for Simon Fraser (Vancouver) in 2011-12 and 2012-13 after transferring from Santa Rosa (CA) JC.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
8. Pollard - Father Pearl Pollard (6-9), a second-team All-Skyline Conference choice as a senior, averaged 10.5 ppg and 7.9 rpg for Utah from 1956-57 through 1958-59 with three national postseason tournament teams, leading the Utes in scoring and rebounding as a senior. Son Carl, 7-2, played briefly for BYU as a freshman in 1983-84 before redshirting in 1984-85, going on a two-year Mormon mission and transferring with a brother to Southern California, where he didn't play prior to competing with Southern Utah in 1989-90 and averaging 1.5 ppg and 2.9 rpg. Son Alan, 6-9, averaged 5.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg while splitting four seasons between Brigham Young and USC from 1984-85 through 1988-89, leading BYU in rebounding as a freshman. Son Mark, 6-11, played briefly for San Diego State in 1990-91 before also leaving at the same time with a brother. Son Neal, 7-0, redshirted at San Diego State in 1988-89 before going on a Mormon mission to New England, playing three games with the Aztecs in 1991-92 and transferring to Utah State, where he didn't play. Son Scot, 6-11, averaged 9.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 1.7 bpg for four Kansas teams reaching NCAA playoff regional semifinals from 1993-94 through 1996-97 before becoming an NBA first-round draft choice.
CAN'T FOIL THE DOYLES
9. Doyle - Father Dan Doyle averaged 13.7 ppg and 12.2 rpg for Belmont Abbey (N.C.) in his four-year career. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons in 5th round of 1961 NBA draft (44th pick overall) after pacing Al McGuire-coached teams in scoring average his final three seasons and rebounding as a junior and senior. Son Danny averaged 7.4 ppg and 2.1 rpg with Iona from 1989-90 through 1993-94, leading the Gaels in assists and steals as a senior. Son Joe led then-DII Sacred Heart in scoring, assists and steals as a senior in 1996-97. Son Tim played sparingly for St. John's in 2002-03 before transferring to Northwestern, where he averaged 8.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.7 apg and 1.3 spg from 2004-05 through 2006-07, leading the Wildcats in assists his last two seasons and in steals as a senior.
HUGGY BEARS ALL
10. Huggins - Father Charlie Huggins was an All-WVIAC first-team selection for Alderson-Broaddus (W. Va.) in 1957-58 after transferring from West Virginia. Son Bob averaged 8.4 ppg and 2.8 rpg while shooting 45.9% from the floor and 79.4% from the free-throw line with West Virginia in the mid-1970s after transferring from Ohio University. Son Harry was a two-year letterman for Texas Lutheran in the late 1970s after transferring from Rice. Son Larry averaged 5.6 ppg, 2 rpg and 2.1 apg while shooting 46.3% from the floor and 79.3% from the free-throw line as a captain for Ohio State in the early 1980s.
WE AND PAPA McGEE
11. McGee - Father Anthony McGee led Long Beach State in scoring in 1975-76 with 14.8 ppg before contributing 4.5 ppg for the 49ers' NCAA playoff team the next season. Son Tony averaged 4 ppg for Eastern Washington in 1997-98 and 1998-99. Son Antoine averaged 1.4 ppg and 1.7 apg with Colorado from 2002-03 through 2005-06. Son Andre averaged 5.2 ppg and 1.8 apg while shooting 36.5% from beyond the arc with Louisville from 2005-06 through 2008-09, leading the Cardinals in three-point field-goal shooting as a junior (39.4%).
FIFE AND DRUM CORPS
12. Fife - Father Dan Fife, a 10th-round draft choice by the Milwaukee Bucks before pitching briefly for the Minnesota Twins, averaged 12.6 ppg and 4.9 rpg for Michigan from 1968-69 through 1970-71. Son Dugan, overlooked during the Fab Five era, averaged 4.6 ppg and 2 rpg for Michigan from 1992-93 through 1995-96. Son Jeremy led Grand Valley State (MI) in assists in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Son Dane averaged 5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.4 spg while shooting 38.2% from three-point range for Indiana from 1998-99 through 2001-02 before becoming a DI head coach with IUPU-Fort Wayne.
Christensen - Father Harold, a member of Brigham Young's 1951 NIT championship team, averaged 7.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg. He was chosen by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1953 NBA draft before having three sons play for the Cougars - Craig averaged 5.1 ppg in half a season in 1981-82, Kurt averaged 4.5 ppg in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and Todd averaged 5.8 ppg in 1995-96, 1998-99 and 1999-00.