Monday, October 31, 2016

Splash Brothers - Eric and Josh Graham

Splash Brothers Josh Graham (left) and Eric Graham (right)

After the offseason remake of the NBA's Golden State Warriors' roster, the "splash brothers" name no longer fully describes the heart of the NBA's most buzzed about team. But that doesn't mean the name has to die, because we have our own set of actual brothers who can carry it right here in town. As you can see, junior Grovetown guard Eric Graham, and his eighth grade (Columbia Middle) brother Josh Graham have the kinds of sweet strokes that quickly show you they are pure shooters.

As a sophomore, Eric averaged 15 points per game and shot 42% from deep, making 3 threes per game. He scored double figures in 17 of 23 outings. And he played his best during the season's most important moments. After burying 5 of 6 threes and scoring a team high 18 points in a region tournament win over Lakeside, he made 5 first quarter threes the next day and nearly engineered a shocking upset over then #1 ranked Warner Robins, the eventual region champs. 

The 6'2" guard also has a knack for the dramatic. Here is my account of his game winner against Aiken in last December's North Augusta Christmas Tournament quarterfinal round game:

Graham's heroic shot came after a 5.7 second sprint to the hoop that started on the opposite baseline. The sophomore split two defenders near half court and dropped the shot over a third. He also made the basket that tied the game at 67 with 26 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and forced overtime.

Younger brother Josh also has Eric's knack for changing games with a deft shooting touch. He did so in a pair of Nike Invitational Tournament AAU games at Richmond Academy in July. Both times I watched Team Power's eighth graders, many of whom will lead the way this season for the best middle school teams around, Graham poured in shot after shot. I left thinking I hadn't seen him hit the rim all weekend!

When I saw big brother Eric, who was sitting on Team Power's bench cheering on his brother and his teammates that day at Richmond, I asked him who is the family's best shooter? He gave me essentially the same answer then as they both did Wednesday in this interview at Columbia Middle's practice. (They don't know, which makes sense because I don't either!)

Of course it's good that the brothers don't brag at each other's expense. And it's even better that seemingly every time in recent memory I will have seen Josh play (at Richmond in July, at Columbia Middle's practice Wednesday, and at next week's Columbia versus Grovetown Middle showdown), I also will have seen Eric supporting him.

Two real life brothers who are good to each other. Two brothers who splash shots in from everywhere. Splash brothers. I told you they can carry the name.

The next "AugBball Game of the Night" dates for Eric and Josh's teams:

Grovetown Middle @ Columbia Middle - Wednesday (tomorrow), Nov 2

- For live highlights and updates, follow @AugBball on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Richmond Academy @ Grovetown - Tuesday, November 15

- For live highlights and updates, follow @AugBball on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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