Turk Telekom and Jerian Grant literally steal the show in EuroCup

2022-11-01T10:00:09+00:00 2022-10-31T18:09:18+00:00.

Aris Barkas

01/Nov/22 10:00


Jerian Grant’s promises of making an impact in Europe are fulfilled this season

By Aris Barkas/ barkas@eurohoops.net

The name “Grant” holds a certain gravitas, especially in basketball. Jerian Grant is the son of former NBA player Harvey Grant and the nephew of four-time NBA champion with the Lakers and the Bulls, Horace Grant.

So, basketball has chosen him as much as he chose the sport.

He was the 19th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and decided to first come to Europe on the last day of December 2020, joining 7DAYS EuroCup squad Promitheas Patras. His late arrival postponed his debut in the competition, however, his presence in Greece automatically elevated him to a hot commodity, giving him a chance to sign with EuroLeague contenders EA7 Emporio Armani Milan.

After a so-and-so personal season in Italy in which he was part of a championship-winning roster, it was time for him to try Turkey and finally make his presence felt in the EuroCup as a member of Turk Telekom Ankara.

So far, he is leading the league in steals, averaging 3.0 per game, is the second-best passer with 6.7 assists per game, and averages a solid 18 PIR. However, for him, those numbers are a footnote.

“I evaluate the season first based on wins and losses”, he clarified to Eurohoops. “And the fact that we’re 4-1 in the BSL and 2-1 in EuroCup is a great start. I’m personally starting to catch a rhythm with the guys on the team and we’re coming together as a whole. We know it’s a long season so I personally won’t be satisfied until the end.”

In the age of advanced stats, the bottom line for Jerian Grant is not personal numbers, but the team’s success. That’s the thinking of a true point guard and a real leader.

“So far it’s been good, but I believe I can be much better,” he said of his performances. “It’s never easy as a guard coming into a brand new group of guys, but the coach has done a great job helping us play to each other’s strengths. Personally, I know I can be better and as the season goes on I will be. But like I said before, my main thoughts are on wins and losses. And I will be a big part of a lot of those outcomes.”

The coach is Erdem Can, who after a long time as Fenerbahce‘s assistant coach, went to the States for a season in Utah and he returned to Turkey setting his sights high.

With additions like Grant, it’s obvious that Turk Telekom in a very open EuroCup season dreams to repeat a run similar to last season’s miracle by Frutti Extra Bursaspor.

And who knows if the end result can be a spot in next season’s EuroLeague?

After all, Jerian Grant wants his team to be measured in comparison to Istanbul’s Turkish Airlines EuroLeague powerhouses, back-to-back champions Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahce Beko.

“I love our team, I think we’ve been tested a few times and so far we were up to the task”, he clarified. “In the BSL, the two Euroleague teams are where you want to be and we haven’t played either one yet but I like what we’re building. Everyone on our team believes we can be fighting with the top teams in the end. We have that kind of talent mixed with youth and experience”.