A local basketball star is returning home.
On Wednesday, University of Saint Mary men's basketball coach Jon Bishop announced that former Leavenworth High School standout Grant Greenberg had signed a letter of intent to play basketball for the Spires next year.
Greenberg will join the Spires as a freshman for the 2013-14 season.
The 2012 Pioneer grad, a 6-foot-3-inch guard, made the decision to transfer from Northwest Missouri State University where he sat out the past year as a redshirt for the basketball program.
He signed with the Bearcats after completing his prep career where he averaged 23.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game while shooting a school record 70.9 percent from the floor as a senior in 2012.
"We are thrilled to have Grant transferring into our program," Bishop said. "He’s a guy that’s already familiar with Saint Mary after watching JEB’s success here as a player. We anticipate him being a guy that can step in right away and be a terrific player for us."
Greenberg scored 1,106 career points at Leavenworth and was chosen the 2012 Leavenworth County Player of the Year. He was also named to the 6A second-team All-state team by the Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capitol Journal.
“I told people Grant was a top five player in the state his senior season,” Bishop said. “He can shoot it and his ability to score is really good but what I think sets him apart from others is his toughness and the way he competes.”
Bishop also recently signed North Kansas City High School standout Payton Snell. The guard will join the Spires as a freshman for the 2013-14 season.
Snell transferred to North Kansas City High School for his senior year where he averaged 16.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He quickly proved to everyone in the KC Metro area his reputation as a great shooter after making 79 3-pointers while shooting 45 percent from behind the 3-point line and over 80 percent from the free throw line.
Snell captured first-team honors in the Suburban White Conference and was also honored as a first-team All-district selection this season. He came in as runner-up in Player of the Year voting for the Suburban White Conference as a senior.
Snell was named to the All-tournament teams in both the Leavenworth and Kearney tournaments this past season.
"Once I signed with Saint Mary I could already tell I was part of a great program and I can’t wait to begin my college career there," Snell said. “I want to come in, help them continue to win championships, and get back to the national tournament.”
Snell and Greenberg join a Spires program that captured the 2013 KCAC regular season championship while posting back to back 20-plus win seasons - 25 wins in 2012 and 22 wins in 2013. Saint Mary has qualified for the NAIA D-II National Tournament the last two years.
Page 2 of 2 - "We are excited to add Payton and his family to our program," Bishop said. "Payton was a guy we targeted hard after watching him play all summer. His ability to shoot the ball as well as he does fills a huge need for our team and should give him a chance to play right away."