OTTUMWA – Tyon Grant-Foster grew up on the Kansas side of the border in Kansas City. The Indian Hills freshman had a breakout performance in Kansas at the NJCAA National Tournament last March.
It’s safe to say the Sunflower State has been good to Grant-Foster. Perhaps it only makes sense that, starting next year, Grant-Foster will be playing for the state’s most prestigious athletic program.
The Kansas basketball program picked up its first commitment in the 2020 recruiting class on Monday morning, when Grant-Foster officially announced the Jayhawks as the program he will be continuing his college basketball career at with his junior season in 2020-21. The 6-7, 187-pound guard was in Lawrence for an official visit over the weekend.
Grant-Foster told the Journal-World during a Monday morning phone conversation that he made up his mind and told Kansas head men’s basketball coach Bill Self about his decision on Saturday afternoon.
“I just felt like it was the best timing,” Grant-Foster said. “I felt like I would have the same opportunities at other schools, but if I can get this opportunity and I can do it at home, close to where I’m from, that’s a blessing. It would be a real bad idea if I turned it down.”
In 32 games with IHCC as a freshman, Grant-Foster made five starts, played significant minutes and had a strong second half of the season to finish with averages of 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Grant-Foster scored a season-high 25 points against Florida SouthWestern State in the national tournament in March.
With his length, athleticism and versatility, Grant-Foster fits the mold of recent KU signees Tristan Enaruna, Jalen Wilson and Christian Braun, players who can play multiple positions and be used in a variety of ways.
The preseason juco All-American who also had offers from Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa State, Kansas State, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma State, Oregon, SMU, Texas and more, said Self and company told him he could play any of the three guard positions at Kansas.
As for the looming NCAA allegations against KU, Grant-Foster said he and his family asked about the situation during his visit. What he heard in response from the Kansas coaches put his mind at ease.
“They were totally honest about it,” he said. “Coach Self said he was going to take care of it and I’m not worried really at all. I just want to hoop.”