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TexPreps Basketball

It’s Grimes’ Time As The State’s Top Senior Prepares To Lead College Park


By Bo Carter

Quentin Grimes is every coach’s dream.

A 6-5, 210-pound guard with as many as six tools (maybe more) who is most comfortable in the offseason in the weight room and on the running track doing sprints.

Reminiscent of some of the great tall guards of high school and college basketball – 6-9 Magic Johnson of Michigan State, 6-7 Shaun Livingston of Peoria (Ill.) HS, 6-7 Penny Hardaway of Memphis, 6-6 Greivis Vasquez of Rockville (Md.) Montroe Christian HS, and 6-5 Cazzie Russell of Michigan, among others, Grimes has the height and talent to rank as the top returning senior in the state of Texas as he finishes up his prep career at College Park High School in The Woodlands.

And CPHS head coach Clifton McNeely has nothing but praise and admiration for his prized protégé.

In fact, he had to interrupt a lunchtime session in the weigh troom to get his standout senior to the telephone for the interview with Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball.

“I am from three generations of basketball coaches going back to my grandfather in Kentucky, and Quentin is the best high school player I ever have coached,” McNeely noted. “This is rewarding and exciting to coach Quentin and a senior class at College Park with 10 total seniors.

“Quentin is one of those rare youngsters who practically lives in the weight room, is working on his running endurance and conditioning, watching game tapes, and virtually eating and sleeping at the gymnasium. He definitely is a one-of-a-kind player.”

Grimes’ statistics from last year are just as impressive as his work ethic. In 2016-17 he averaged 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists for a fairly young College Park squad loaded with juniors and sophomores.

Now those juniors have grown into seniors with Grimes and give the lanky guard optimism about a trip deep into the 2018 high school playoffs in one of the state’s most powerful districts, 12-6A.

Of course, the 2016-17 prestigious MaxPreps All-America selection had a full summer of basketball as a member of the elite adidas Path team – the top 10-12 under-18 high school basketball players nationally. Their busy summer schedule included an all-star tour of Italy, which was a highlight for The Woodlands resident.

“When I heard I was selected for the adidas Path team,” Grimes said, “it was one of my most exciting honors. Just to play with these high school stars and to compete against some of the best international players was something I had hoped I could do when I was nominated. The trip definitely was a highlight of my career and summer.”

The thing that anyone who has coached Grimes from his youth days to his high school excellence and later beyond has observed the most is his ability to take a long, lean body (strengthened by the weights) and play in-your-face defense, pass with the best in the nation and shoot from a wide range of angles.

This humble hero is always in search of that little edge to take College Park to even greater heights in 2017-18 without regard to his personal accomplishments.

“I have been working on my three-point shooting in the offseason,” he explained, “and I know I can keep getting stronger and play more minutes with good endurance this coming season after working on conditioning.”

Last winter, the Cavaliers of CPHS advanced to the state playoffs at 22-14, only to fall in a 67-64 nail-biter to Rockwall in their final game.

Grimes and his nine senior mates have not forgotten the disappointment and have another rugged non-district slate in 2017-18 to prepare for district matchups with The Woodlands, Conroe, Lufkin, Conroe Oak Ridge, and Montgomery.

All the while Grimes will be deciding on a college on or before the 2017-18 NCAA Division I basketball signing date, and dozens of schools are vying for his services.

Among the powerhouses in the running, according to published reports, are Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas, Kansas, Marquette, and Duke. He has visited most of those campus sites and brought back many memories. As a matter of fact, his mother is a Kansas alumna but has not exerted any pressure on her son to travel to the land of head coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks.

And what has made Grimes such a sterling student-athlete and person as he prepares to make these life-altering decisions is the influence of many role models.

“My father played basketball at Santa Clara,” said the senior, “and he has been a big influence on my basketball and life. He worked with me quite a bit when I was young and helped me establish my basic skills.”

His AAU coaches and greats such as former Texas A&M All-America and 2007 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year Acie Law have been encouraging and teaching factors as well as CPHS head coach McNeely.

“I have learned a lot from all of them,” Grimes said, “and in recent years they have helped me round out all aspects of my game. That is important as I get ready for my senior year and make my college decision.”

Coach McNeely also sees even greater moments to come from the hard-working basketball prodigy.

“We have high aspirations and four district championships behind us in one of the toughest districts in the state,” McNeely said. “It has been an honor to record many of my 500-plus victories in the College Park program and to be associated with players like Quentin.

“At first, people told me I was a little crazy when I left Austin Westlake High School to come here in 2005, but I wouldn’t give anything in the world for being with this program. We have some really good potential with Quentin Grimes and a dedicated group of seniors playing for us this year.”

Yes, and those groans emanating from the halls of 12-6A opponents and other opposing teams as they watch tape of past College Park games and the exploits of Quentin Grimes are understandable.

There may be no stopping the most outstanding boys high school basketball stalwart in Texas for the 2017-18 campaign if his humility, work ethic and innate talent are any indications.

 

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