Sherwood Christian Academy star Grant Raven signs to hoop at Shorter University
Grant Raven joins his sister at Shorter University after signing with the Hawks
ALBANY, GA- On Thursday, July 28, Sherwood Christian Academy star, Grant Raven, signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Shorter University.
Raven says “after I took a visit to the school, I felt like it was a place where I could come in and be a big contribution to the team and it was a school where I felt like if I wasn’t playing basketball, it would also be somewhere I would like to attend.”
His father, Vincent Raven says “I think the main part of his decision was that the coach really wanted him. He said he would love to mentor Grant after seeing his tape and said ‘we really want him on our team’. So that played a big part in him wanting to go somewhere where a coach actually wanted him to be there.”
Grant Raven, a 6’4″ shooting guard has a huge potential to be an asset to the Hawks. At Sherwood, he scored over twelve-hundred career points and averaged 23 points a game is senior year. But according to his parents, they knew long before signing day that their son would be a star.
“Grant has had a ball in his hand ever since the age of two” says Vincent. “He actually was dribbling on his own at two and shooting like an actual basketball player at age two and so the moment that he did that I was like ‘okay, this boy got something here!’ Ever since that day, innately he’s just gotten better and better.”
Grants mother, Terri Raven shares the specific moment she knew her son had a passion for the game of basketball:
“I often tell this story when he was about six or seven years old in the middle of the night I heard a basketball bouncing and I got up and ran to the kitchen he was in the bouncing the ball up against the wall repetitiously. He was like ‘I just want to practice! I just need a little more time i’ll go to be after a while! Please, I promise! In a full out sweat and I was like ‘you know what I’m going back to bed’. So from that point I told my husband, I knew he had it, that hunger and that thirst to really want to play basketball.”
Shorter University hasn’t finished a season with more than five wins since the 2016-2017 season, but the signee believes that he can change that.
“I’ve been told by my coaches over the years that I’m a very unselfish player and a very coachable player” says Raven. “I feel like I can come in, be somebody that the guys can trust, be somebody that they can look to even being young as a leader and just come in and give them some type of motivational energy that they may not have had over the past couple years.”
Terri says that Grant still to this day stays up at 2am perfecting his skills. Whether that is in his room, at the gym or even the basketball court they built in the backyard of their home. However, little did the Raven family know, Grant and his sister Kyla would have plenty of time to perfect their basketball skills when the pandemic hit in 2020.
Overcoming the pandemic:
The pandemic effected everyone, especially athletes both mentally and physically and like many high school athletes, Grant had to take a season off.
“It was hard, I missed playing with my teammates and playing against other teams. I didn’t know what was going to happen and if I was still going to have a future with basketball because we didn’t know when Covid was going to end or when I would get to play again. But I just kept training and relying on God and trusted in the plan he had for me and that’s a big reason why I am able to sign today” says Raven.
Fortunately, he was given an extra “Covid year” which allowed him to have one last season. Although Grant tried to stay positive, being confined to his household, unable to work out orpractice with his team and participate in summer ball, his mother said it was difficult.
“It was hard and it was difficult they [Grant and Kyla] were frustrated, they were unsure of what was going to happen but we believe in the power of prayer. We would pray for our children and with our children and encourage them through the word of God to know that all things are working together for their good.”
Through the difficult time of the pandemic, Grant still remained focused on basketball and used the opportunity to strengthen his skills.
His father says, “Grant has always been a self motivator. When Covid hit he just looked at it as an opportunity to enhance his skills even more. So everyday he would train by lifting weights, running, playing ball, working on his jumpshot, footwork, just the training skills that his coaches and trainers have implemented and just used it on his own and it’s paying off. He never once gave up and I will always be proud of him for that, both him and his sister.”
Clearly, the work Grant put in during the lockdown paid off as he will be playing college basketball this upcoming season.
The Raven duo:
Grant isn’t the only Raven that will be playing basketball as a Hawk. His sister, Kyla Raven, signed to Shorter a few months prior. He says his sisters signing had a bit of an impact on his decision when choosing where to go to college.
“It really did impact my decision because since she started playing basketball after me, it was never a thought in my mind. I didn’t even think she even wanted to play basketball in college. But then I seen an opportunity for me and her to go to the same school and I just felt like everything that’s happened to get me here, that was just a blessing from God for something like that to happen” Grant says.
Some siblings would have mixed feelings about going to the same college as one another, nonetheless play the same sport, but Grant says it’s something he’s looking forward to.
“I’m excited, I’m kind of use to it because we’ve been going to the same school all our lives, but I am excited to see us being older and being able to play on a different platform at the same school at the same time” he says.
Terri and Vincent Raven say their kids attending the same school is something very special.
“I got one word, amazing!” says Terri. “Two children, one school, both athletes, I mean does it get any better than that?”
The duo’s father says, “I know my prayers were answered, I’ve always wanted them to go to the same school, but ultimately it was Grant’s decision on where he wanted to go. It’s a blessing God placed them where they’ll experience college and make many fun memories together and as parents, we feel good knowing neither of them will ever feel alone because they’ll have each other.”
Starting college is a big step for any student after receiving their high school diploma. But Vincent and Terri are confident they have prepared their children for their next chapter.
“For both of them, they have great heads on their shoulders” says Vincent.“We’re at the stage of our lives where we’re still parenting them but we’re mostly advising them. We’ve invested in them good decision making skills, for them to make good decisions, so I believe for their future that the sky is the limit”.
Terri follows her husbands remarks with “My vision is for Grant to be the man that the Lord wants him to be and for Kyla to be the woman of God that God called her to be and for them to just exemplify Christ-like characters… I envision them being great teammates, great leaders in the community and just being good citizens. We’ve always raised them to make an impact in the world and whether that is through basketball or not, it’s our vision for them and they’re more than capable of achieving anything they put their mind to.”
The Ravens will soar to Rome in the fall as the Hawks begin their season in late October.