Grant Ott-Large is going out on a high note for his last season of basketball in his high school career.
Ott-Large’s basketball career started out when he was just a kid in elementary school. His early years shaped the player he has become today. From then on out, he learned how much he loved the sport and decided to pursue it further. He ended up playing on the travel teams Eric Gordon All Stars and Indiana Elite. This proved beneficial for his future athletic career and was a good fit for him due to his competitive nature.
“I first started to fall in love with basketball in fifth or sixth grade. When I got into middle school, I broke the record for scoring at Kesling, which is pretty cool, and my brother was second, so it’s kinda a family thing. The love for being on the court was something I felt like I would be able to carry on throughout my life,” Ott-Large said.
His family was the main push for his love of sports, but their main focus was basketball. They have been his biggest supporters his whole life. As passionate as they are towards basketball, they still supported him through his other sport endeavors.
“For me, basketball has always been my favorite, like my passion. My family is a basketball family, so they are pretty biased towards basketball. They have always gone to every game, whatever sport it was, they never missed anything. They have been the most impactful on my college decision, and my sports decision as a whole,” Ott-Large said.
Making a varsity spot on a high school basketball team is not an easy endeavor; however because of his skill and knowledge of the game, Ott-Large prevailed and played in a starting position all four years. His leadership qualities have allowed him to be a role model for the younger players on his team because he is such a positive, hard working person. He’s embraced this by being continuous in his role to others on the team.
“I feel like I am a figure for others just because I have been playing basketball for four years. I feel like if you do good on the court and in school, you can inspire others to do the same. I personally don’t really focus on the pressure, just playing the game for the love of it, helping others, and trying to make my family proud is what I really focus on, which is what I think makes me a good person for others to go to,” Ott-Large said.
Ott-Large is not only a fantastic ball player, but he is also a great friend who always pushes his teammates to become the best they can.
“He’s a great role model to all of us on the team even for the underclassmen who aren’t around as much,” senior basketball player Evan Cizewski said.
Though the players can recognize his role, it is not lost on the coaches how Ott-Large’s impact has shaped the team this year and over the past four years of his high school career.
“Grant has been a great leader for four years. He is just someone who the younger guys look up to, and sets an example on the floor as well,” head basketball coach Jordan Heckard said.
Ott-Large has always enjoyed the dynamic on the basketball court. It is easier to have close bonds with teammates and coaches because it is a smaller team. He’s a true team player and carries the team spirit with him.
“He is a good teammate to everyone on and off the floor, and he’s not selfish and wants everyone else to be the best they can,” junior basketball player Ja’ Meriyon Cross said.
This year, Ott-Large was one of few in La Porte history to score 1,000 points scored and 500 rebounds in his career.
He plans on attending the University of Saint Francis after high school, where he hopes to play both basketball and football.
“I think the biggest obstacle I have had to overcome is picking which sport to play in college,” Ott-Large said.
Ott-Large’s impact on the court, in the locker room, and in the classroom will be felt for years to come.