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Sit Down With Baylor MBB Guard Dantwan Grimes

Dantwan Grimes Shares Stories From Growing Up In Florida, JUCO Basketball Success, And His Decision To Redshirt This Season

Instagram: @dantwangrimes


Dantwan Grimes may be redshirting this year, but his impact on the team won’t be diminished. Grimes was described by Coach Drew as “maybe our best on-ball defender,” and is sure to push his teammates to be better each and every day. This year will be one of growth, work, and craft perfection for Grimes; all pointing towards him being a staple on the Baylor roster and a leader for years to come.

Dantwan took the time to chat and help me tell his story to introduce him to Baylor Nation. His energy and passion for the game could be felt through a Zoom call and comes through in the interview audio. Grimes is attacking his redshirt year with his eyes set on being a great teammate and rounding out his game on both ends of the floor.

I left the interview excited to see what Dantwan will bring to the floor next season. Spoiler alert, he promised to dunk on a big man and model his defense after someone we may be familiar with, Davion Mitchell. Gas it up!

Links to the Podcast



Q1) I have started all of these interviews and sit downs with a question that just pops into my head when I get ready to draft these out. So I hope you don’t mind that this one is a little random. You are on the record leaving Kobe Bryant outside of your all time starting 5, and including Giannis, I just wanted to give you a chance to fix that.

A1) “Man that was kind of rushed. In the moment when I made it I kind of knew I messed up. I left a few people out. Like I said, that was kind of rushed so don’t take that serious man. Don’t take that serious.”

Q2) Tell us a little bit about your hometown of Ocala, Florida. What are some of your favorite things to do there and are you able to go back often?

A2) “Growing up in Ocala, it’s really a small city. Its kind of known for horses and a lot of country things. For me that’s not who I am. So growing up I always did sports. I played football, played basketball. So I was always busy doing those things. Growing up in that environment was kind of tough. My mom had me at a young age, she had me when she was 18. So it kind of felt like me and her were growing up together.

You know she was trying to figure life out, and I was just getting introduced to life. It was kind of rough growing up, we didn’t always have everything all together. But she’s a tough person, she’s who I get my toughness from. Just watching her go through everything she went through gives me the strength to push forward everyday and know I can make it through anything. I still have a lot of family in Florida, I kind of have family all over the place to be honest. We are still really close.”

Q3) Can you walk me through how you got started playing basketball, and when it became a passion for you?

A3) “Basketball really became my passion when I got to high school. I played basketball growing up, but I was mainly focused on football. My family members played football and that was just what I saw growing up. I started taking basketball serious when I got to high school and realized my height and strength wouldn’t really line up with being on the football field. So I transferred over to basketball. Like I said I grew up playing basketball so it wasn’t hard to transition from football to basketball. It was kind of easy, just the fact of taking it all serious and locking in with that sport was the tough part.”

Q4) I think it speaks to your work ethic and character that even with no offers out of high school you grinded and went the JUCO route, eventually leading to Baylor. What went into the JUCO decision and tell us about playing at Kilgore.

A4) “So coming out of high school I didn’t have any offers. I was an undersized guard, nobody wanted to take a chance on me, and I had gotten into a little bit of trouble. There was this coach who had somehow gotten my film. His name is Cody McCoy, he’s an assistant coach at Kilgore College right now. He was the one who got me to go to Kilgore. At first I wasn’t really trying to go all the way to Texas. I’m not ready to leave my family, I’m young, I’m not sure how I’m going to do this. At first it was hard, after having to make the grown up decision, I knew I had to do what was best for me.

This was the only chance to get back on that road and show everyone what I could do. I got to Kilgore and I just put my head down and worked. Cody McCoy is who taught me that. Just come in and work everyday, don’t worry about the outcome and everything else will work itself out. He kind of helped me grow with my work ethic, and that’s how I got to Baylor. Without him I really don’t know if this moment would have ever happened. I’m thankful for him every day. Ever since I learned that from him I just took it and ran with it. Ever since then I’m just working every single day, same old boring habits, working every single day.”

Q5) Are you still pretty close with Coach McCoy, do you still keep in touch with him since you’ve been at Baylor?

A5) “We are closer than we ever were. I talk to him almost everyday.”

Q6) What are some of your fondest memories from Kilgore and favorite moments?

A6) “It was a fun experience at Kilgore. I came in with this group of guys from all across the world. That first year we didn’t know how good we were. Making it to that national tournament was an eye opener. The next year we came back with about 5 to 7 players that were on the team the year before. So coming back that next year I had a goal to turn it up a notch. I was the team leader and relaying that goal to all the other guys, let’s make another run at this. So we all got on the same page early on.

Going into my Sophomore season we knew how talented we were and we would have a chance to make it back to the national tournament. So we came out every game and beat everybody. We ended up being the number 3 team in JUCO and making the national tournament but coming up a little bit short. The feeling of going back two times in a row was unreal, no other team in Kilgore history had done what we did. It was a wonderful experience to be able to go through that with a special group of guys that have gone on to play at the next level and further their college careers.”

Q7) You mentioned you love collecting Jordan’s, specifically 11’s. What is your favorite colorway of the 11’s?

A7) “Man to be real, most of those questions I answered were robotic. I like collecting shoes but I’m not that big on collecting Jordan’s. I love them but I’m not really a sneakerhead. But my favorite pair of Jordan’s are the Jubilee 11’s. I’m kind of all over the place with sneakers, I like a lot of different shoes. But those questions you guys heard me answer were just off the top, just talking man.”

Q8) What are some of your other hobbies outside of basketball?

A8) “It’s funny man, it may sound crazy, but if I’m not in the gym, resting, chilling, watching TV, or watching basketball I don’t do much. I’m just so focused on my goal, I’m locked in, it’s unbelievable actually.”

Q9) Alright back to hoops for a little bit, what was the recruiting process like coming from Kilgore to Baylor, what coaches were involved in your recruitment process?

A9) “So it’s funny, my Freshman year at JUCO, Cody [McCoy] came from Baylor. He was a GA here a few years ago. At the time I didn’t know much about Baylor. I just knew they were pretty good and had won a National Championship. So me going to Kilgore, he just drilled Baylor everyday. He was like you’re talented enough to play at Baylor. He was telling me all these things about the system, and all these things Baylor could provide for me.

He [McCoy] is really tight with Coach P, Coach Peterson, so early on I got a chance to talk with Coach P my Freshman year; and we were connected my two years at JUCO. So really through Coach P and a few others on the coaching staff I was connected with a lot of different coaches. The process really took a while at the end of Sophomore season. I had to wait a little bit. I had an idea that I was going to come to Baylor. But the process of waiting took a long time, I got impatient and was thinking ‘Man is this ever going to happen.’ So when it finally did happen it was just a dream come true man. Once it did happen I just took advantage of the opportunity.”

Q10) So what have been some of your favorite parts of being at Baylor so far?

A10) “At first I thought Waco was a smaller city. So coming to Waco I thought I was going to be in this small city with nothing to do and just focus on basketball. But the city of Waco is actually bigger than I thought. The people here are unbelievable. I just feel so loved. Being here so far, I have obviously learned a lot on the basketball court through a lot of great coaches. I’m taking advantage of being around a lot of great guards, and a lot of great players. I love my teammates man, I love the atmosphere and just being in a winning culture. It’s a win-win at the end of the day. I can keep getting great at my craft, and keep learning from everybody else.”

Q11) Who are some of the guys on the team that you’ve gotten really close with that have helped in the transition from Kilgore to Baylor?

A11) “I’m pretty close with everybody on the team. But I really get along with my roommate, Josh, Big Josh. But somebody else I really am tight with is Dale Bonner. We have a great bond, he became my brother so fast, it’s crazy.”

Q12) You showed out and played really well at GLOBL Jam in Canada. What are some of your favorite memories from that trip, and what can Baylor Nation look for in your game after getting a glimpse of it in Canada?

A12) “The GLOBL Jam experience was great for everyone. Us coming in as a new team, everybody really not knowing each other. So us having the opportunity to play together for the first time was great. We gelled really well. Something to look forward to in my game, it would just be awesome to see some of the things you saw in Canada. But there’s a lot more to see in my game. I’m excited for y’all to see my play whenever that time comes.”

Q13) I have been comparing you amongst my friends, and really blasting it on twitter, to Davion Mitchell with your quickness and tenacity on defense, and also the jump shot form is similar. Is there anyone else you model your game after in the NBA?

A13) “I model my game after Damian Lilliard and Ja Morant. Obviously Damian Lilliard’s ability to shoot the ball, I have that same ability and I have worked on the same things that he has worked on. Ja Morant my speed and athleticism. Getting from one end of the court to the other pretty fast, finish through contact with bigger guys. That’s two guys I model my game after. On the defensive end, obviously with Davion, I watch the way he guards and I try to apply that everyday in practice. So I’m learning not just on offense, but I’m learning on defense as well.”

Q14) In as much detail or as little as you want to go into, I’m sure it’s a tough subject but can you share a little bit about the decision to redshirt?

A14) “You know at first it was kind of overwhelming. I was looking forward to getting to play with this special group of guys and this team we have this year. I just knew I would be able to help impact the game in so many different ways, and help lead this team to another national tournament.

At first looking at it I was sad a little bit, having to sit out a whole year. But when I looked at the positive side of it, it made me change my perspective on things. It made me attack this redshirt thing differently. You know just being able to keep getting better, keep learning, keep growing, keep challenging my teammates, that will help me get better but help them get better as well. When I looked at the positive side of it, my whole outlook of this redshirt thing changed. So I’m actually grateful for it.”

Q15) Any final thoughts before we wrap up?

A15) “I don’t really have anything to say, but Baylor fans stay patient. Continue to support the team, and when that time does come for me to get on the court I will have something for y’all.”

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