Sendek praises Grant as 'true gentleman'
RALEIGH, N.C. -- As much as he tried, North Carolina State coach Herb Sendek couldn't avoid questions about the immigration status of Gavin Grant.
Sendek opened the team's media day events Friday with a brief statement, during which he praised his sophomore guard for being a "true gentleman" and insisted he would be with the team for its first practice.
Earlier this week, federal officials said they determined that Grant is living in the United States illegally. Grant, who came to the United States from Jamaica about 10 years ago and attended St. Raymond's High School in New York, could be deported.
"We're really not at liberty to talk about it," Sendek said. "What I can tell you is that Gavin is a true gentleman, and he is working hard to pursue his degree at N.C. State."
Sendek politely refused to answer any other inquiries about Grant's status, but did discuss the his talents on the court. The 6-foot-7 Grant averaged 4.2 points and 2.4 rebounds last season as a freshman reserve for the Wolfpack, who reached the NCAA regional semifinals for the first time since 1989.
"Gavin is a very versatile player," he said. "In many respects, he's as versatile as any guy I've ever coached."
Grant spoke to reporters with the rest of the players, but he declined to talk specifically of his immigration status.
"I'll definitely be a part of the basketball team this year," he said. "I really don't want to talk about it any more. I'd just rather talk about basketball."
N.C. State opens the season Nov. 18 against Stetson in the Hispanic College Fund Classic.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press