Team Spotlight: Griffin Grasshoppers


Posted On: 08/9/18 12:00 PM

Griffin Grasshoppers, led by Coach Duck Richards, just wrapped up one of many successful AAU seasons in program history. Out of small-town Griffin, Georgia, the Grasshoppers have produced numerous collegiate athletes such as Evan Jester of Georgia Tech, Darius Alexander of Southern College of Idaho, Tyshaun Crawford of Georgia Southern, Charles Corbin of Winthrop University, Cameron Solomon of Georgia State, Isaiah Massey of Louisiana Tech, Thomas Brown of Lamar University, and Coach Richards’s son, Zalan Richards of Southern Wesleyan. Professional athletes coming from the program include Tim Beckham of the Baltimore Orioles, Bobby Rainey of the Baltimore Ravens, Neiron Ball of the Oakland Raiders, and Corey Moore of the Texas Texans. “We change lives and give our players hope and dreams of obtaining college degrees through basketball,” says Coach Duck Richards. “We prepare them not only for basketball, but also for life and that’s what the Griffin Grasshoppers program is all about.” With this motto, Coach Richards has successfully carried Griffin Grasshoppers into their 27th AAU season. This season the Grasshoppers won the Bronze Division Championship at the LeBron James Shooting Stars Classic along with winning the Tournament “R” Us 2018 Back 2 School Jam at Pebblebrook High School. Here are the players who contributed for the Griffin Grasshoppers this season:

Rayquan Brown (Mundy’s Mill HS)- Rayquan Brown recently brought home MVP honors last weekend at Pebblebrook High School. The 6’6 forward is highly athletic and versatile as he can play multiple positions. Not only can he score facing the basket, but he can also score in the post against much smaller defenders. Brown is currently being recruited by Wingate, Georgia Southern, Florida Atlantic, Belmont Abbey, and Catawba College.

Jacarlin Dennis (Griffin HS)- As mentioned in my previous article, Dennis is a strong guard. Although undersized, he finds ways to score in bunches and is very streaky from three-point range. Dennis had multiple games during the AAU season where he exploded for 30 plus points. Dennis recently returned from the University of Mississippi and Samford’s elite prospect camps and also claims interest from Tennessee State, Florida A&M, and South Alabama.

Phillip Richards, Jr. (Spalding HS)- Richards is another member of the Grasshoppers who I believe is a solid college prospect (see link). Richards is the perfect complement to Brown and Dennis. Standing at 6’9, he rebounds at a high level and protects the paint. Last season at Spalding High School, he earned 1st Team All-Region honors and looks to build on that heading into his senior season.

Josiah Stewart (Lamar County HS)- “Stewart has a very high motor,” says Coach Richards. Stewart plays very hard and with high energy at all times. He is the first player off the bench for the Grasshoppers and showed the ability to score last tournament averaging 14 points per game.

Javon Stanley (Irwin County HS)- Stanley is a stud at not only basketball, but also starts for his high school in football and baseball and is projected as a Division 1 athlete. He is a tough guard that brings energy to the Grasshoppers. Stanley is also known as a slasher who finishes well through contact. He averaged 16 points per game last tournament.

Jamorri Colston (Irwin County HS)- Another Irwin County native, Colston is a stud in all three sports as well. Colston is also projected as a Division 1 athlete. He brings toughness and much needed intangibles to the team. He averages 12 points per game for the Grasshoppers.

Brock Greenwood (Piedmont Academy)- Greenwood is a shooter. Coach Richards says Greenwood is the team’s shooter off the bench and even compares him to JJ Reddick. He says, “When Brock comes in the game, he knows I want him to shoot the ball and is not shy when he it comes to shooting.” Coach Richards also praises his work ethic as Greenwood’s goal is to shoot 500 threes a day.

Jason Howard (Griffin HS)- Howard is an athletic, starting guard for the Griffin Grasshoppers. The 6’4 combo guard has great range and shoots the ball well from deep.

Jerqueze Miller (Griffin HS)- The 6’6 forward for Griffin High School is a slasher who likes to dunk everything at the rim. Miller is a capable shooter and also very versatile on both sides of the court.

Semaj Rice (Henry County HS)- Semaj Rice is nice, athletic complement for the Griffin Grasshoppers. Athleticism runs in his family as he has an older brother who currently plays in the NFL. Rice, standing at 6’5, plays a defensive role for the team but also has the ability to knock down the open jump shot.