CLEMSON — It has been an emotional months-long journey for former Clemson men's basketball star Donte Grantham.
From tearing his ACL in January, to having to watch from the sidelines for the remainder of his senior season when Clemson made a historical Sweet 16 run, to not not hearing his name called in the NBA Draft to now, Grantham has been through it all.
But this weekend, the West Virginia native finally got what he has waited for his entire life: a chance to prove he belongs in the NBA.
Grantham signed a one-year contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder, though official details have not been released. Clemson announced the news Sunday afternoon. Just because he signed the contract by no means guarantees he will make the team, but at least having the chance is the first step.
At Clemson, Grantham averaged 14.2 points per game with 6.9 rebounds and a 36.8 3-point percentage as a forward before his knee injury ended his season. At 6-8, 215 pounds, Grantham's size and style are both perfect for the modern NBA game, given the reality that he can rebound and score like a forward but handle the ball like a point guard.
Clemson used that versatility before he was injured and he departed the program having averaged 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for his career. He also happened to be among the best leaders coach Brad Brownell had, leading the movement for players to buy into what Brownell was saying. It also didn't hurt that he had gotten NBA feedback from 2017, when he tested the waters before his senior season and took seriously the remarks scouts and executives shared with him.
"He’s a talented player, he cares about our team and our players and our program. He’s the ultimate kid that way," Brownell said. "He’s such a genuinely nice kid that he wants to help and he wants success for other people."