HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Snapple 2019 Boys High School Basketball tournament kicked off earlier this week and the Maryknoll Spartans enter the tournament as the states top overall seed.
Its been over 3 decades since the Spartans last lifted the state title in boys basketball. Maryknoll’s head coach Kelly Grant was part of that team, and now its his son Payton Grant’s turn to follow in his fathers footsteps.
“Everyday I walk into the gym I always look at the banner," said Grant. "I look at the top of the gym and I see my dad’s number.”
For the Grant Ohana basketball is in their blood. Father Kelly Grant won the state crown as a member of the Maryknoll Spartans back during the 83-84 season, the last state title in basketball for the program.
Now history looks to repeat itself as his son Payton Grant will try to leads his own Spartan team to the programs first state title since his father won it all those years ago.
“It’d be really great because its my dads number," said Grant. "My younger brother Parker is also on the team an this is our first an last year playing together so it would just be something really special.”
Being a head coach is never easy and neither is coaching your child at the high school level.
Kelly Grant admits that he himself has come along way since he and Payton first started.
“I have been really hard on him growing up," said Grant. “Every single time he makes a mistake he always wants to make me proud and he would always look over his shoulder and now i think its to a point where he knows that if he makes a mistake not worry about those kinds of things.”
Their relationship has blossomed into success on the court as the Spartans have captured back-to-back ILH titles the last two season and head into this year’s state tournament as the favorite.
“Just having my son having the opportunity to experience the same thing that I did when I was a student at Maryknoll here is very special," said Kelly Grant.
For Payton now a senior heading into his last tournament as a high school player, he hopes to bring the state crown back home to the Spartan program just as father once did.
“There’s this a picture frame on the wall in our house in the newspaper its a picture of him cutting down the net and that’s something I just dream about everyday," said Grant.
The Spartans will take on the Kapolei Hurricanes tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the Division I Boy’s state basketball tournament.