- It was an exciting and busy weekend for Jerami Grant. After he and his 76ers arrived in Cleveland on Saturday, he quickly met up with his family and was in Quicken Loans arena later that night to watch his older brother, Jerian and Notre Dame take on undefeated Kentucky in the Midwest Regional final.
Notre Dame came oh so close to upsetting Kentucky, with Jerian missing a tough shot at the buzzer as Kentucky prevailed, 68-66. Jerian played all 40 minutes and scored 15 points and dealt six assists.
"It was a great game," said Jerami, who started for the Sixers against the Cavaliers and drew LeBron James as a defensive assignment. "The outcome wasn't to our liking, but at the same time it was just exciting watching my brother and cheering my brother on with my family.
"Watching a game like that, with the intensity of the crowd and the intensity of the players and everybody playing as hard as they can, it's kind of similar to the playoffs in the NBA and just seeing that is exciting for everybody."
While Grant was with his family, teammates Nerlens Noel, a Kentucky product, and Joel Embiid were also in the stands. They didn't have quite as much invested as Grant, whose brother nearly became the hero with his last shot that went just long.
"It was a tough shot," said Jerami. "But when he released it, maybe I didn't think it was going in but the closer it got to the basket the closer it looked to going in."
Though the team didn't practice on Saturday after Friday's loss at home to the Los Angeles Clippers, 76ers coach Brett Brown still got his fill of basketball.
He coached his son, Sam, in an AAU basketball tournament that morning (the team went on to win the title yesterday) then commenced with his professional life later that day.
"I've seen a lot of basketball," said Brown. "I coached a game, I went to my son's AAU tournament, I got on a plane and flew here and saw an NCAA game and now we're back playing NBA basketball. I've seen a lot of basketball in the last 36 hours."
He took in the Notre Dame-Kentucky game Saturday night and wouldn't have had it any other way.
"It was a great college game," he said before his team took on the Cavaliers yesterday. "To sit here and take in the fans and you ended up looking at that big, beautiful scoreboard a lot because people were standing often and you just take in that atmosphere and you see a lot of talented, young players. I was glad I made the effort to come.
"I kept looking at that scoreboard and I'd see them zoom in on Jerami [Grant] and his family and then I'm looking over and I can see Joel [Embiid] and Nerlens [Noel], who are quite distinguished in their hairstyles, it was just a great college game."