Kenny Grant comes from a real basketball family. Born in Norrköping, basketball has taken him around the globe, first by following his father during his career, then by following his own.
1. When did you start playing basketball and why?
I started playing ball when I was 7 years old (1989) when we moved from Täby to Pau-Orthez in France because my father was the new coach there. I moved to France and didn't speak a word of French so basketball helped me make friends and learn French.
2. What does basketball mean to you?
I come from a big basketball family. Both my parents played, my mother played in her days in Norrköping, it was called Hageby Basket back then. My father played all over Europe, coached in Italy, Sweden and France and is now a basketball agent. I had 2 uncles who played in Europe as well, one of them, Kelly Grant played in Sweden in the early 80s to the mid 90s and now as been coaching in Sweden for almost 20 seasons (ed. Kelly Grant is coaching Uppsala in basketligan).
Basketball has always been a big part of my life, growing up we followed my father who had just finished his playing career and became a coach, so I moved around a lot. At a young age I was already in that life style, but it wasn't until I was 13 or 14 that I really fell in love with basketball and I told myself this is what I wanted to do.
3. What is your favorite basketball court in Stockholm and why?
I don’t know many courts in Stockholm so i’m going to have to say Fryshuset because there’s always kids playing pick up in there (ed. check it on our map!)
4. What is your best basketball memory?
It really hard just to pick one because I have a few great memories.
In College, I would say being able to play at some of the most legendary arenas or venues in basketball like Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke), the Dean Smith Center (UNC), the Carrier Dome (Syracuse) and the Palestra in Philadelphia to name a few. I also got to experience the NCAA tournament my senior year at Davidson. It was something you dreamed about when you’re a kid playing ball with your friends or alone shooting in your driveway.
As a pro my first big memory was winning the Swedish championship with Norrkoping in 2010. It was my first championship as a professional and it was for the town I was born in, 20 years after my father won the clubs first ever championship. So being able to win it with him there was very cool.
The next season winning the French championship with Nancy in front of 16000 people and then being able to play Euroleague the next season was great.
Few pics of Kenny's moments in Nancy (Pro A - highest division in France):
5. Your favorite kicks on and off court? Which pair did you buy last?
On court I’ve been a big Kobe fan since he went low cut. I’m playing in the kobe 9s this season but my last pair I bought was actually a pair of the new Kyrie Irving in a nikeID.
Off the court I wear a lot of different shoes, I’m of course a big Jordan fan, the 4s white cement are my favorite, but I also wear a lot of vans. If i’m just going to practice or to lift, I like the new adidas boost shoes they’re really comfortable and the nike flyknit lunars.
6. Name a basketball personality you look upon to:
I really look up to my father when it comes to the game, his outlook on it and the way he analyzes it. As a kid playing ball in the 90s everyone wanted to be like Mike but I’m a huge NY Knicks fan so I liked him except when the Bulls played the Knicks! As I got older I really tried to look at someone that was more my physique and that I could relate to on the court and that was Damon Bailey and Steve Nash.
7. Who do you think will be the next Swedish player in NBA?
I’ve never seen him play but from what I hear, I would say Marcus Eriksson.
8. The perfect song before a game?
9. How would you define the basketball culture in Stockholm?
I’m really only in Stockholm a few weeks in the summer with the National Team so its hard for me to answer this question.
10.You can nominate one person to be one of the next on Portrait of Ballers, what’s your pick?
Maciej Lampe because I would love to hear what he has to say, he’s had a great career so far.