As part of our Jordan Classic coverage, Finish Line polled 12 of the finest up-and-coming players in America about what it means to them to play in the game that bears Michael Jordan’s name, among other topics. Our final interviews this year are with Kentucky-bound center Skal Labissiere and incoming Ohio State guard Austin Grandstaff.
Austin Grandstaff (@)
A talented shooting guard from Texas, Grandstaff is heading east to play for the Buckeyes and Thad Matta. A devotee of Duke-era J.J. Redick, Grandstaff averaged nearly 30 points this past season.
I think I saw this right, it’s your first time here?
Yeah, first time in New York City. It’s a lot different from Dallas! It’s a lot busier. But I like it, I like it a lot.
What’s been your favorite part of the trip so far?
Just getting to know everyone, all the guys. Being around people who have the same goals as you and that you can relate to, it’s pretty cool.
You’re a bit young to have really watched him, but when someone brings up Michael Jordan, what does he mean to you?
He’s the greatest of all time. I mean, I don’t think I really got to watch him when he was in his prime, but I’ve seen so many highlights of him, and the stuff he could do was just amazing. You don’t see people doing it that way today, like his all-around talent and just his mentality. It never changed, and that’s what I admire the most.
When I was younger, for me it was all about Michael Jordan, and then later it was LeBron James. As a basketball guy, who would be your version of that, someone you look up to and perhaps emulate?
I like Steph Curry a lot. I mean, he’s on his way — I think he’s having an MVP type season. I love his game, and that’s who I really look up to and model some things after, how he can create his own shot and then hit open shots too. I love it, I love Steph Curry.
You’re kind of following in the footsteps of another player next year in D’Angelo Russell that a lot of people compared to Steph Curry.
I mean, me and D’Angelo are different players. He’s a great, great player, but I’m not really worried about personal goals, I just want to help the team win, so whatever I can do.
Since this is your last high school game, what do you need to work on to get ready for the next step?
I’m not ready yet, but I will be ready! (Laughs) I’ve been working with weights, trying to get a lot stronger and quicker, but I think I’ll be ready when that time comes.