Rarely can we boast of exclusivity here at Hammer & Rails, but for once we have the jump on everyone. Keaton Grant's new book "Access Granted" will soon be in stores for Purdue fans. The former 1,000 point scorer was recently drafted by the Sioux Falls Skyforce and will make his professional debut later this month against Chris Kramer's Ft. Wayne Mad Ants.
This is T-Mill doing the intro, but Andy (a.k.a. Purdue_Pete) was the brainchild behind this one. He recently spoke with Keaton about his book. We were going to do this as a podcast, but Andy had to do it via e-mail anyway:
H&R: You've done more since you've graduated from Purdue than most people accomplish in a lifetime. You've written a book (Access GRANTed), founded The Keaton Grant Foundation, and you were recently drafted by the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Have you had any time to sleep since you left West Lafayette?
KG: Yes, of course but honestly there are times that I can't sleep because I have so many ideas rumbling in my head and thinking about what's my next step and how I want to go about it.
H&R: So many topics to dive into, but we'll start with what's on everybody's mind. You've published a book, Access Granted, which is set to release this December 8th. Can you tell us a little bit about about what Access Granted is?
KG: Access Granted is a book that gives you all access to a highly ranked team that has been through a lot. From its greatest wins to losing one of its star players. It gives you a behind the scenes look, and things that the general public or the media would not know.
H&R: When did you first come up with the idea of writing about your experiences with the team? Did you start writing it while at Purdue or did you wait till after graduation?
KG: I first came up with the idea to write it after we lost to UCONN after my junior year. I had so many emotions going on with me after that game is sparked something in me. I was upset we lost, but hungry to get back at it. I was tired from playing but knowing how good we could be the following year gave me energy. I wrote during the season on my down time and on the road traveling from game to game.
H&R: Did you teammates know you were writing the book?
KG: Not really. Some kinda knew and Mark (Wohlford) knew.
H&R: You experienced many highs and lows throughout your four seasons at Purdue. You were thrown into the starting lineup as a freshman and had to learn everything on the fly. What types of lessons did all of these types of experience help you learn?
KG: I learned no matter what you role was on the team, if it was coming off the bench or starting, everyone had a job and the team was counting on you to do it. So do what is asked of you with no excuses and do it to the best of your ability. Sacrifice yourself for the team because no matter how you look at it, counting wins in the win column is success and everyone looks good at the same time. I also think that coach Painter and the coaching staff did a great job preparing me for the ‘real world' by putting the responsibility on myself and showing me how to carry myself in a professional manner.
H&R: Access Granted is going to be a must-have for all Purdue fans this Christmas, but I'd imagine it would appeal to a much broader audience. What will readers get out of it who are not who are not familiar with Purdue.
KG: Access Granted speaks to the youth who want to play basketball at any level and the work that goes behind it. Parents who are going through the recruiting process with their kids and who are not familiar with what goes on with a college team during the season, this is for them. Fans who enjoy basketball, especially a Big Ten team, this is great because every Big Ten team we play is mentioned in the book.
H&R: With Christmas coming up, who would this book be an ideal gift for?
KG: This book would be a great gift for Purdue Alumni, current fans young and old, kids who desire to play basketball: boys, girls, men and women. Coaches of all age groups who want to learn about what their player may be thinking mentally would enjoy this book. I think this is a must have gift and something people will enjoy.
H&R: You've also founded the Keaton Grant Foundation, which helps provides resources that will enable youth for college in areas of mentorship, tutoring, sponsorship and scholarship opportunities. What inspired you to put together this charity?
KG: I was inspired to start it because many people don't know that I went to Prep School because I missed the ACT score by one point, which forced me to attend Prep School. If my foundation can reach out to one kid and open their eyes to how important it is to pay attention in school and not go through what I went through, they would not have to go through the long road I went down. I want to give kids the best possibility ever for them to achieve their goals, even if they don't play sports. I want them to know that they can be anything they want to be.
H&R: Congratulations on being drafted to the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Do you know anybody else on the team that you will be playing with?
KG: Not really, I recognize a few of the names but I don't know any of them personally.
H&R: Will you have any time to leave South Dakota and visit your friends in West Lafayette this season?
KG: I hope that I can. It will be fun to come back and see everyone and watch a game. That will be a treat. Maybe somehow I can set up a book signing before a game, if possible.
H&R: You are obviously quite an entrepreneur. Do you have any other plans for your life post-basketball? Any other book ideas?
KG: I think I have one more book in me - LOL. This one will be more for the everyday person - not only athletes. I have different business opportunities unfolding at the moment that I will speak on at a later date.
H&R: Well whatever you choose, we have confidence that success is in your future. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, and good luck in your upcoming season, Keaton.
KG: Thank you.
Access Granted will be released December 8th. It can be purchased from keatongrant.com (launching Dec. 1st), Amazon, and Barns and Noble. Release date will be known soon.