Varsity Boys Basketball · Graham Griffith Helps Boys Basketball Team Behind Scenes (ThisWeek Sports Article)


Full article, including video/photo, can be seen here: https://www.thisweeknews.com/sports/20200106/new-albany-roundup-graham-griffith-helps-boys-team-behind-scenes

By DAVE PURPURA
THISWEEKSPORTS.COM

Graham Griffith has so many duties as the New Albany boys basketball team’s manager that even he is taken aback at everything he does.

During practices, the junior runs the clock, reminds coach Sam Davis when it is time to move from one drill to another according to the team’s schedule, fills and empties the water cooler and occasionally participates in drills.

He films games and keeps statistics throughout, to the point that Davis says Griffith’s stats are more reliable than those compiled by the computerized program used by the team.

Griffith is flexible as to his job title, too.

“I change it every time I tell someone,” he said. “It goes from team manager to student assistant. I just do anything that helps the team win.

Griffith, who loves basketball but by his own admission isn’t good enough to be a varsity player, couldn’t imagine spending high school any other way.

“To have a young kid give up two or two and a half hours of his personal time every single night is unbelievable,” Davis said. “He does everything the players do. He raises funds. He does everything, and then he comes in and without my prompting does everything I need. He is a student coach.

“During games, he’ll tell me stats and let me know how many points they had in a certain stretch. He knows who the (opposing) players are and what they can do. Then he goes home, watches film, makes sure the stats are correct and he gives them to me.”

Griffith spent his freshman year at Youngstown Ursuline and served in a similar role with the boys basketball team as it won a Division II Northeast District championship. His family moved to New Albany in summer 2018, and when Griffith had a class taught by Eagles assistant coach Jerry Tackett, he asked about joining the program.

″(Davis) asked me what I wanted to do, not what he wanted me to do. I was so shocked. I just wanted to do whatever I could to help. I started that day,” Griffith said. “This isn’t a job. It’s something I love doing. Every time I am in the gym with the guys or on the bus, I keep loving it more.”

Griffith’s dedication does not go unnoticed by Eagles players.

“I have a class with Graham and I’ve seen him watching film on other teams to let us know what (opposing players) like to do. He’s into everything,” guard Jayden Lewis said.

In addition to filming and keeping stats, Griffith will note an opponent’s offensive and defensive trends and point them out at halftime.

“He is a do-it-all, work hard guy. He loves being invested,” guard Keegan Schaub said. “He will see stuff statistically-wise and what happens on the court better sometimes than how we see it.”