Anthony Grant and Frank Martin were friends as high school teammates, before going onto success as coaches in college and in the NBA. Getty Images

Tom Archdeacon: Final Four coach an admirer of UD hire Anthony Grant

New University of Dayton men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant inspired one current Final Four coach and former high school teammate to put pen to paper.

Grant is close friends with South Carolina coach Frank Martin, who has the Gamecocks in their first ever Final Four.

The two were high school teammates at Miami High School in Florida. Grant was the All City star, Martin was a glorified manager but was just as dedicated to the Stingarees’ success.

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Eventually both were assistant coaches for their high school head coach Shakey Rodriguez and then each worked their way up through the ranks to the lofty status followed.

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Martin was a successful coach at Kansas State before moving to South Carolina, where he became famous for his in-game intensity and his scowling look, which could scare the paint off the court. But there are no scowls when it comes to Grant.

Martin made Grant the godfather of one of his sons. Before that he did something more telling.

After high school, when Grant went to Dayton on a full scholarship, Martin was a regular student at Miami Dade Community College.

For the very first college paper for his English 1101 class, he was asked to write about someone he admired.

He wrote about Anthony Grant.

“He cared about people, his school, his friends,” Martin told a reporter a couple of years ago. “He walked in the hallways and teachers and students all respected him.

“That’s something I’ll never forget.”

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