Eager to 'be significant,' Grant takes Alabama job


Anthony Grant sat down with his oldest son and talked about the chance to "be significant," to take an Alabama program that never has been to the Final Four and build it into a basketball power.

A job was soon to be open at Kentucky. Rumors were swirling that Florida's Billy Donovan, Grant's former boss, would take over that juggernaut program, leaving that post available. But Grant said during his formal introduction Sunday evening that Alabama was his first choice.

Why? He answered that Friday morning in a conversation with 13-year-old Anthony Jr.

"I explained to him the opportunity that Alabama presented, the opportunity to be significant, to accomplish some things that had not been accomplished, to blaze your own trail," Grant said. "As compared to maybe some other opportunities that the media and maybe everybody thought would have been attractive and maybe something that caused us pause."

The 42-year-old Grant called Alabama officials and accepted the job that morning, two days after visiting the campus. Kentucky later fired Billy Gillispie, but Donovan announced he was staying put at Florida, which had targeted Grant when his ex-boss briefly took an NBA job before deciding to return two years ago.

Neither Grant nor Alabama athletic director Mal Moore would discuss terms or length of the deal, reportedly in the $2 million range.

Grant said he appreciated the significance of being the Tide's first black men's basketball coach and hardly viewed the football program's "overwhelming magnitude" as a downside.

"Being the first African-American head coach in a major sport at Alabama is something that I don't take lightly," Grant said. "It is a tremendous honor."

Grant takes over a program that has missed the postseason three years running, a span when he was leading Virginia Commonwealth to three regular-season Colonial Athletic Association titles and two NCAA Tournaments.

• DUKE -- Seth Curry is joining coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils.

Curry's father, Dell, said Sunday night that his son will transfer to Duke next season.

The younger brother of Davidson star Stephen Curry was the Big South freshman of the year at Liberty after leading the nation's first-year players with a 20.2-point average.

He announced plans last week to transfer so that he could play a higher level of competition, and Dell Curry said his son was impressed by the level of interest Krzyzew-ski, a Hall of Fame coach, and his staff had in the young shooting guard.

Seth Curry will sit out next season, and the Charlotte, N.C., native will have three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2010-11, when the Blue Devils will need another scoring guard. Gerald Henderson and Jon Scheyer will be seniors next season.

"Coach K kept telling him the timing couldn't be better," said Curry's father, who spent most of his 16 NBA seasons with the Charlotte Hornets.

A Duke spokesman, citing NCAA rules, said the school cannot comment on whether a player has transferred into the program until his paperwork is received.

 

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