UD men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant to receive ‘Guardian of the Game’ award

University of Dayton men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant has been selected as one of five recipients of this year’s “Guardians of the Game” award.

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The award is presented each at the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to member coaches who embody the NABC’s core values of leadership, service, education, advocacy, and inclusion, according to a spokesperson.

Grant’s honor is for education.

The NABC said in this statement about him:

“This season marks Anthony Grant’s seventh as the head coach at Dayton, where he has led his alma mater to five 20-win seasons and the 2019-20 Atlantic 10 regular season title. Prior to his tenure at Dayton, Grant reached three NCAA Tournaments and four NITs during head coaching stints at Alabama and VCU. After the tragic passing of his daughter Jayda in 2022, Grant and his family have become fierce advocates for mental health education. This past October, Grant developed the Spotlight Town Hall in honor of his late daughter to champion adolescent and young adult mental health and suicide prevention. The event featured a mental health resource fair and was held adjacent to a charity exhibition game (with Ohio State) that raised funds for the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio.”

Grant and his wife Chris established Jay’s Light; a foundation dedicated to shining light on mental health.

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The other four recipients are Baylor coach Scott Drew for leadership, longtime Division III coach Dan Priest for service, former Missouri coach Norm Stewart for Advocacy, and Saquaro High School (Arizona) coach Lucas Ramirez.

“Coaching is about much more than on-court results,” said NABC Executive Director Craig Robinson. “The NABC’s Guardians of the Game platform showcases coaches’ unique ability to make a positive impact on our society. These Guardians of the Game awards are among our industry’s most prestigious honors, and I commend each of this year’s recipients for how they live out the NABC’s core values.”

This year’s Guardians of the Game will be recognized in April at the NABC Convention during Final Four weekend in Phoenix, Arizona.