Grant Barrett never gave up on his dream.
The McPherson High senior played basketball for the Bullpups up through his junior year, then spent this past season as a student assistant coach under Kurt Kinnamon.
But all throughout, he wanted to someday play college basketball, just like his father Dave, who was a McPherson College standout from 1986-90.
Tim Swartzendruber is giving Barrett the opportunity to chase his dream. The McPherson College men’s basketball coach on Monday signed Barrett to a letter of intent.
“I’m really excited to be a part of the team,” said Barrett, a 6-0 left-handed shooting guard whose specialty is 3-point shooting. “I’m glad to be a part of the program. It’s a good feeling to stay in town.”
Even though he spent this year helping Kinnamon and his coaching staff during the Bullpups’ second straight championship season, he continued to work out with the team just in case an offer came up. In the final home game of the year, Kinnamon suited up and started Barrett because he had meant so much to the program and on the final play of the game against arch-rival Buhler, Barrett tossed in a difficult shot at the buzzer for his two varsity points of the season.
“I had a feeling one day if I kept working, the dream would come true,” Barrett said. “I probably need to get a little quicker and hit the weight room.”
“We’re really excited to add Grant,” Swartzendruber said. “I’m not sure where it’s all going to go, but he wants to be a part of our program and we’re excited to have him in our program. He has a passion for basketball and anytime you have a kid who has the passion for basketball, you want to give them a chance.”
Kinnamon said even though Barrett didn’t play this year, he was invaluable to the team in so many ways and believes he could be one of those stories where a player develops more once he gets to college.
“He’s got a really good knowledge of basketball,” Kinnamon said. “Hopefully he was able to learn some things this year from the coaching standpoint. He practiced every day with the best team in the state the last two years and held his own. I think he’s like a sponge, he really absorbs things... you can’t just give it a half-effort and I know he won’t. He’ll be all-in in whatever they ask him to do.”
Barrett said his senior season will always be special, even though he didn’t play except for the one game.
“It meant a lot, it showed such a great person that coach Kinnamon is and his coaching philosophy is really good,” he said.
Barrett will major in communications.