Boys basketball: Alexandria's Grayson Grove commits to Minnesota

Alexandria junior Grayson Grove announced his decision to commit to Minnesota over the weekend. He helped lead Alexandria to a fourth-place finish at the state tournament in March.

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Alexandria's Grayson Grove puts up a reverse layup in the second half of a 79-53 win on Dec. 30, 2022, against Holy Family Catholic at St. Cloud State University. Grove had a team-high 31 points in the win. Grove announced his commitment to the University of Minnesota on May 13, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA - Many young student-athletes dream of playing for their big in-state college in their sport of choice.

And for Alexandria junior Grayson Grove, that dream is becoming a reality, as he has now verbally committed to play college basketball at the University of Minnesota.

Growing up in Minnesota, Grove has been watching the university's athletic teams a lot, and having a family full of Gopher fans was a big motivating factor for making a college commitment.

"I watched their basketball, football, and volleyball teams, and I come from a family of Gopher fans," Grove said in a phone interview with the Echo Press on Monday. "It means a lot to me to be able to play for a home-state school."

The 6-foot-9 forward took his official visit to the Minnesota campus on Friday, May 12, 2023, and committed to the program over the weekend. He told Gopher Illustrated that he likes what head coach Ben Johnson is building with the program.


"I took my official visit this weekend, and coach Ben Johnson, coach Dave Thorson and the rest of the staff were with me all weekend, and I was able to build a really good relationship with all of them," Grove told Gopher Illustrated's Ryan James. "They showed me around the facilities, and they were just incredible. I like what Ben Johnson has set up for the program over the next few years. I think they are building up to be one of the better programs in the Big Ten. There is a lot of winning coming their way which is what I like. They are a staff that believes in me, they gave me an opportunity, and I think I really fit the way they play."

Grove received an offer from Minnesota back in early April.

Grove informed the Minnesota coaching staff of his decision first on Friday and then announced it publicly on his social media on Saturday, May 13, 2023.

"It was really exciting and a little bit nervous when telling them just because it's only something that you do once in a lifetime," Grove said. "It was kind of nerve-wracking, but it was fun and really exciting. They were so welcoming when I told them so it was a really good moment. I'm excited about it; It's kind of like getting a weight off your shoulders. In high school next year, I'll have a target on my back with this, but that's what you want. That's how you get better."

Grove had other offers from Central Arkansas, Illinois State, Indiana State, North Dakota State, and St. Thomas.

Alexandria has had some former student-athletes go on to join a Minnesota athletic team over the years, including recent years.

Treyton Thompson, who spent his freshman and sophomore years of high school at Alexandria, played in 39 games over the last two seasons before transferring to Stetson University.

One of Grove's old basketball teammates, Kristen Hoskins, played in a game for the Minnesota football team as a freshman last fall and is amping up for his second year.


Jaran Roste spent a year with the Minnesota football program, then transferred to Bethel, where he had a standout career.

McKenzie Duwenhoegger is a redshirt junior for the women's track and field team, and Alexandria alums Bethany and Megan Hasz had standout careers for the Minnesota track and field program (college class of 2021).

For Alexandria this season, Grove averaged 20 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.2 deflections, 2.4 steals, and 1.7 blocks per game. He shot 57.8 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from the three-point, and helped propel the Cardinals to a 25-6 record this season and a fourth-place finish at the Class AAA State Tournament. He was voted Alexandria's team MVP this season and was named to the Class AAA State Tournament team and the All-Central Lakes Conference team.

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Alexandria junior forward Grayson Grove soars in the air for a dunk for two of his 18 points in Alexandria's 89-35 in the Section 8AAA quarterfinals over St. Cloud Apollo on March 7, 2023. Grove committed the University of Minnesota on May 13, 2023, after his official visit to the campus.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Now Grove is working in the offseason with D1 Minnesota in AAU basketball, along with fellow Minnesota Class of 2024 commit Isaac Asuma (Cherry School - Iron Junction, MN).

"I want to get stronger and more consistent all-around with my game with my post moves, ball-handling, mid-range, and three-point shooting," he said.

Alexandria sophomore forward Chase Thompson also plays AAU basketball with the D1 Minnesota program.

As for high school team goals, Grove and the Cardinals want to keep things simple and not get ahead of themselves.

"We want to make a deep run in the state tournament, but first, we have to make it to the state tournament, and we have to have a great regular season," Grove said. "We'll use the regular season to grow as a team, get connected, and get better."


Including players like Grove, there are some local young basketball players who are getting college offers.

On the girls side, sophomore guard Allie Haabala has received an offer from Minnesota State-Moorhead, while sophomore forward Hadley Thul has received offers from Eastern Illinois and Colorado State recently.

The girls basketball team also had a fourth-place finish at the Class AAA State Tournament in March and has a lot to build with moving forward.

"We both made deep state tournament runs with relatively young teams, so next year is going to be a lot of fun for both the boys and girls programs," Grove said. "I think we'll really put a name out there for Alexandria."

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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