Grant Weatherford: Team Leader

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Practice starts for the IUPUI men's basketball team, with one voice heard above the others, offering encouragement, leadership, and compliments to the other players. This voice belongs to Grant Weatherford. 

Weatherford is a leader for the team. He has been on the team the longest out of all the players. "Grant's our leader, he’s one of the oldest guys on our team, he has been here probably the longest out of anyone," head coach Byron Rimm said. Weatherford first started his college basketball career at Purdue University, before deciding to attend a junior college in Texas called Midland University. He brought his talents to IUPUI and sat out his first season before moving into a starting position the next year. "Grant is pretty much the guy we lean on. He can play pretty much one through four," Rimm said.

Coming from Purdue, a Big Ten program, is a little different than one from the Horizon League, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some commonalities. "There are a lot of similarities, whether it be the continuity or the movement of offense,” said Weatherford. “Trying to preach to carry over the defense. Just toughness, there are a lot of similarities really anywhere you go not just IUPUI or Purdue but just have the carry over.” Many basketball programs have similar offenses and defenses, so it may be easier to transfer to a new team. One big difference is the amount of people watching from the stands as well as the people watching at home.

One big factor for his love of the game was family. Weatherford grew up in a very competitive household. "Everything we did, whether it was who could eat the fastest or who could get to the dinner table first. Everything was competitive," Weatherford said. Family is important and Weatherford treats his team like family. With his house mostly consisting of athletes, there are many stories to tell--but one stuck out to him.

"Being all boys and my sister, we used to not let her play very much and she used to get real mad, but then one day she hopped in and beat us all in 21,"  Weatherford said. He said that the best athlete in his family is, without a doubt, his sister. 

Weatherford hails from Cicero, Indiana, a small town  just north of Noblesville. Community is a strong thing in his eyes. "Growing up in a small town, there is a big community. Everybody knows everybody. People just like to see people succeed," Weatherford said. 

 Weatherford has stepped up his game since coming to IUPUI and has worked on being a better player for himself and the team. "I worked on being an offensive threat, not necessarily scoring a ton but being better at shooting the ball and working on ball handling," Weatherford said.  Rimm has learned how Weatherford plays and functions, knowing exactly where to put him in many situations. "He’s one of our gritty guys and doesn't get too tired at times. We need him, he is a glue guy and we need him on the floor as much as possible," Rimm said. 

Weatherford is an active leader on the floor for the Jags. As practice went on, the more I kept hearing his voice encouraging players and helping move them around to where they needed to go. His best games came against divisional teams in the Horizon League, with his career highs all being against those teams in the conference. As a sophomore last year, Weatherford was selected to the Horizon League's Academic Honor Roll for both semesters.

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