76ers sign sharpshooting special-needs high-schooler Kevin Grow to ceremonial two-day contract
We've seen plenty of NBA teams in the past decide to sign players to new contracts on the strength of one breakout performance, and live to regret it down the line. Somehow, I don't think the Philadelphia 76ers will find themselves in the same boat after their most recent acquisition.
The 76ers announced Monday that they had signed Kevin Grow, an 18-year-old student at Bensalem (Pa.) High School, to a ceremonial two-day contract. According to a league source, Grow — who has Down syndrome and has served as the Bensalem High boys' basketball team's manager for the last four seasons — got on the Sixers' radar by exploding for 14 points in two minutes during Bensalem's Feb. 8 Senior Night victory over conference rival Neshaminy, including a scorching 4 for 5 mark from downtown:
With Philadelphia's offense scuffling and in dire need of a long-range-shooting boost coming out of the All-Star break, general manager Sam Hinkie made a push for Grow, who signed his contract Monday and immediately joined the Sixers for practice and a team dinner. While Grow was added for his offense, the new addition wanted to make sure 76ers head coach Brett Brown know that he's not just a one-way player, according to Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Before signing his contract, the first question Sixers coach Brown asked was whether he could play defense and Grow assured him he could.
"I know you can shoot but you can play defense, too, I say we give him a three-day contract," Brown said.
Added Grow: "It's great to be here," he said. [...]
Brown echoed the feelings of many when addressing Grow before he signed his contract.
"Everybody is very proud of what you have done and what you have accomplished is sensational," Brown said. "You should be proud of yourself."
Grow will make his big-league debut on Tuesday, when the Sixers host the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center. After joining his teammates in the 76ers locker room before the game and receiving his new jersey, he'll watch pregame warm-ups, take part in the team's high-five tunnel as the players take the court and stand with his team during the singing of the National Anthem. Later, during a timeout, he'll be joined on the court by his Bensalem High teammates for a special presentation. It promises to be pretty great.
Hat-tip to Sportando.
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