KU lands commitment from 2020 Indian Hills C.C. standout Tyon Grant-Foster
The Kansas basketball program picked up its first commitment in the 2020 recruiting class on Monday morning, when Tyon Grant-Foster officially announced his pick for KU on Twitter.
The 6-foot-7, 187-pound guard from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, was in Lawrence for an official visit over the weekend and that was all he needed to make his decision.
Grant-Foster, a native of Kansas City, Kan., told the Journal-World during a Monday morning phone conversation that he made up his mind and told KU coach Bill Self about his decision on Saturday afternoon.
“I just felt like it was the best timing,” he said. “I felt like I would have the same opportunities at other schools, but if I can get this opportunity and I can do it at home, close to where I’m from, that’s a blessing. It would be a real bad idea if I turned it down.”
In 32 games with IHCC as a freshman, Grant-Foster made five starts, played significant minutes and had a strong second half of the season to finish with averages of 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
With his length, athleticism and versatility, Grant-Foster fits the mold of recent KU signees Tristan Enaruna, Jalen Wilson and Christian Braun, players who can play multiple positions and be used in a variety of ways.
The preseason juco All-American who also had offers from Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa State, Kansas State, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma State, Oregon, SMU, Texas and more, said Self and company told him he could play any of the three guard positions at Kansas.
Asked if he had a preference, Grant-Foster said he would pick the 2 if he had to decide. But he added that he also had been working on his point guard skills during the past several months, hoping to become good enough on the ball to open up even more possibilities down the road.
Indian Hills has a true point guard, but Grant-Foster said he was one of the team’s primary ball handlers. He said the way the Warriors run their offense is “exactly” like KU, with multiple ball handlers on the floor at the same time.
Another major factor in Grant-Foster’s decision to pick Kansas was his relationship with KU assistant coach Jerrance Howard. Not only did Grant-Foster and Howard form an immediate bond, but the juco guard also said seeing Howard’s connection to his entire family was fun to watch.
“I feel like I can really relate to coach,” Grant-Foster said of Howard. “Coming from where he came from and coming from where I come from, we connected right off the bat. Say we’re at practice or I had a bad day, I can go talk to him about anything because I can relate to him so well. My relationship with Coach Howard was huge.”
Grant-Foster said his two younger brothers, 15-year-old Trayvon and 16-year-old Trayon, are both good players at KC Washington High and he hopes they one day will follow him to Kansas.
Making this decision for them and for other young players in KCK high schools was also on Grant-Foster’s mind.
“It was really important,” he said. “It shows everybody if you just stick to your dream and work hard, you can make it come true no matter what. So I feel like I’m going to be a real great role model for them.”
When asked if he planned to make his commitment official when the early signing period arrives on Nov. 13, Grant-Foster said, “Oh yeah.”
As for the looming NCAA allegations against KU, Grant-Foster said he and his family asked about the situation during his visit. What he heard in response from the Kansas coaches put his mind at ease.
“They were totally honest about it,” he said. “Coach Self said he was going to take care of it, and I’m not worried really at all. I just want to hoop.”
Grant-Foster is the first player in the 2020 class to commit to Kansas. With three seniors on the current roster, one open scholarship and the potential for early departures after the 2019-20 season, the Jayhawks could look to sign as many as four or five players in the 2020 class.