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Grand Canyon's Tyon Grant-Foster, after multiple heart surgeries and NCAA tournament run, declares for NBA Draft

Tyon Grant-Foster had two heart surgeries in recent years, and nearly had to quit playing basketball altogether

After a historic run with Grand Canyon earlier this spring, and multiple heart surgeries that nearly ended his playing career altogether, Tyon Grant-Foster is officially headed to the NBA Draft.

Grant-Foster declared for the draft Monday, he announced on social media. The Grand Canyon star was the WAC’s Player of the Year last season and led the Lopes to their first-ever NCAA tournament win this spring.

Grant-Foster got his start at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, and then he had short stints at both Kansas and DePaul before landing at Grand Canyon last summer. This season, he finally lived up to his potential on the court. Grant-Foster averaged a career-high 20.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game with the Lopes, which earned him the conference’s Player of the Year honors and got the Lopes to the NCAA tournament for just the third time in program history.

Grand Canyon logoGrand Canyon logo
Tyon Grant-Foster
G - GCANYO - #7
2023-24 season
20.1
Pts
6.1
Reb
1.6
Ast
1.7
Stl
33
Min

Then, behind a 22-point outing from Grant-Foster, he led the Lopes past Saint Mary’s 75-66 in the opening round of the tournament in what was their first-ever win in the event. The Lopes were knocked out in the second round by Alabama, though Grant-Foster had 29 points and eight rebounds in that contest.

Tyon Grant-Foster had two heart surgeries in recent years, and nearly had to quit playing basketball altogether
Tyon Grant-Foster had two heart surgeries in recent years, and nearly had to quit playing basketball altogether. (AP/Young Kwak)

But before Grant-Foster made it to Grand Canyon, he nearly died. While with DePaul in 2021, after returning to the locker room following a game, Grant-Foster collapsed. He had to be resuscitated three times before he was rushed to a local hospital, where he spent 10 days recovering. Then, a few months later during a pickup game at a local rec center, it happened again.

Grant-Foster ended up undergoing two heart surgeries and spent about 16 months away from the game until he was finally cleared to return last March. That’s when he decided to play at Grand Canyon, and the rest was history.

“It was an ecstatic moment, the best moment of my life,” Grant-Foster said of being cleared to play again.

It’s unclear where Grant-Foster will end up going in the NBA Draft later this summer. Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek didn’t have him listed in her latest mock draft, though that was published before he declared.

Regardless, Grant-Foster is still playing and now has a shot to do it at the highest level. A little more than a year ago, that didn’t seem possible.