It’s senior day here at UW with Darnell Gant, Brendan Sherrer and Tyrese Breshers being honored before the game.
From my story in today’s paper …
It’s a magical aspect of college basketball that Darnell Gant, a kid from southwest Los Angeles, and Brendan Sherrer, a kid from Monroe who went from Huskies fan to Huskies player, can share the spotlight before today’s Pacific-12 Conference men’s basketball game against Arizona as part of senior day.
Few things are quite like a senior day for an athlete as they play their final home game.
Two years ago, Gant affectionately teased Quincy Pondexter for the pregame stream of tears that flowed down his cheeks.
Now Gant is the one who will be feeling those emotions. But will he cry? His teammates think so. Gant isn’t sure.
“That’s not something I plan to do,” he said. “I feel like I’ll get emotional; I don’t know exactly what’ll happen. I can’t say.”
For Gant, his five years at Washington have been more than just about basketball. He’s earned a degree in performing arts, but more importantly he’s embraced the social, cultural and educational aspects that college offers.
“I did everything I wasn’t supposed to do, coming out of Crenshaw,” he said.
It’s something that makes coach Lorenzo Romar beam with pride.
“Darnell Gant is a great example of what college can do for you,” Romar said. “He’s already graduated; the diploma is there. But there’s another kind of education that you get in school, in terms of meeting deadlines, socially growing up, meeting different people and different cultures – the whole college experience. Darnell has benefitted from college immensely.”
Gant is blunt in his self-criticism.
“Back then I was irresponsible, a knucklehead, but now I’m more mature and I see life in a different perspective now,” he said. “That’s a lot of thanks to Romar and the coaching staff and thanks to my teammates and the guys who have been through it with me.”
Gant has never been the go-to guy or a big scorer, but he’s a quality teammate that can contribute. And he has a chance to go down in the record books. If the Huskies make the NCAA tournament, Gant will be the first player in UW history to play on four NCAA tournament teams.