Grant shying away from spotlight

sports@macon.comFebruary 18, 2013 

The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremonies take place this weekend in Macon with five new inductees.

The group includes former Georgia quarterback Buck Belue, who helped lead the Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship; Georgia gymnast Heather Stepp McCormick, who during her career recorded perfect 10s in all four events; former Georgia Tech linebacker Reggie Wilkes, who played professionally with Philadelphia and Atlanta; J.B. Hawkins, who won more than 1,000 games as a basketball coach at Crawford County; and longtime Atlanta Braves broadcaster Skip Caray. Hawkins and Caray are being inducted posthumously.

Two others, golfer Davis Love III and basketball standout Horace Grant, were selected for this year’s class but aren’t a part of the induction ceremony at this point.

Love will be unable to attend because he had a commitment to play in a tournament in Mexico but is now sidelined for 6-8 weeks after undergoing neck surgery.

As for Grant, it is unknown why he won’t be here. Ben Sapp, managing director of the Hall of Fame, has made numerous attempts to contact Grant since the class was named on Sept. 17, but with no success. Sapp has talked with Grant’s family members, sent registered letters to his address in Los Angeles where he now lives and left messages on his cell phone but has yet to receive a response.

Grant’s apparent lack of interest is not unique to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. He was a no-show for induction into the South Carolina Hall of Fame and also at Clemson for a major event where he was to be honored. It’s difficult to believe that he wouldn’t want to receive these type of accolades.

Georgia has produced some great basketball players through the years, and Grant is surely among them. He and his twin brother, Harvey, played at Hancock Central back in the early 1980s, and both signed to play collegiately at Clemson.

Horace Grant played all four seasons with the Tigers, while Harvey Grant transferred to Oklahoma following his sophomore season.

There is no question that Horace was the better of the brothers. While at Clemson, he earned All-America honors and was selected as ACC player of the year in 1987, averaging 21 points, 9.6 rebounds and shooting 65.6 percent from the field in leading the Tigers to a 25-6 overall record. He never missed a game in his four-year career at Clemson.

He was selected in the first round as the 10th overall pick of the Chicago Bulls in the 1987 NBA draft and went on to a 17-year career playing with the Bulls, Orlando, Seattle and Los Angeles Lakers. He played on four NBA championship teams, three with Chicago in 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 and one with the Lakers in 2000-01. Grant was named to the NBA all-defensive team five times, and he played in the NBA all-star game in 1994.

He was chosen for induction into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999 and the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2010.

Grant definitely deserves to be in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, but there is a stipulation in the hall’s bylaws that you have to attend the ceremonies to receive that honor. If he is not in attendance this weekend, which is an almost certainty, hopefully he will be able to attend next year’s festivities.

Bobby Pope is the executive director of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Contact him at bobbypope428@gmail.com

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