January 12, 2013

There's no ‘I’ in Grosey

Kevin McCarthy

In the sporting field, freshmen are supposed to defer to their older, wiser brethren and to lay back and figuratively get the lay of the land before attempting to assert themselves. However, former Serra High and current Foothill College frosh Stephen Grosey is humbly turning those bromides upside down.

photo of Stephan Grosey

The 6-foot-6 Grosey is the top rebounder for the 14-3 Owls and second in both scoring and assists. Such multi-proficiency is a unique element and Grosey acknowledges such, labeling himself “a hybrid” because “my best skill is the mismatches I create. I can go outside and take slower opponents off the dribble or take smaller opponents inside.” He also has a talent for spotting teammates cutting to the basket on his dribble-drives.

Currently, he's averaging 12.1 points and 9.5 rebounds an outing.

But even beyond versatility is the court awareness Grosey displays.

“It's like a habit over time that you develop, knowing what your teammates assignments are and what they will do,” he explained about his cerebral play. “You need to be there for everyone. It makes you quicker knowing ‘if this cut happens, it means I need to help here or there.’” Such recognition becomes intuitive after time and Grosey exhibits this.

So why Foothill?

“It's pretty close by, maybe 20-25 minutes away,” he offered. In the basketball domain, “Serra really stresses defense and Coach [Shanan] Rosenberg teaches that. Plus, he's played the game and that helps in teaching us. Serra was more about the team and winning and representing the school more than individual numbers being important and it's the same here. There are plenty of games where you can't make a shot but it's the 'W' that matters.”

He continued, “We're not the biggest [at Foothill] so it's important to buy into playing hard, playing together and doing things like boxing out. Everyone here has everyone's back and we play hard together.”

Here's Foothill Coach Shanan Rosenberg on his freshman: “Stephen possesses a rare blend of innate athleticism, skill, intelligence, and temperament that make him much more advanced than his age would suggest. We are also the beneficiary of outstanding preparation and direction from his parents and high school coaches. He keeps a great team-perspective, and competes with tremendous spirit and effort. I think he fully understands that in our quest to reach our teams' potential, our players will become acquainted with their own potential. If Stephen continues to hone his skills and body he will have very transferable potency at the Division I level, but for now we are only concerned with our team and giving them all their best chance to reach their potential.”

What's fascinating is that Grosey was rather unrecognized during his high school days. Because of his size relative to the other members of the team, “I played the five, in the post.”

However, he still displayed enough promise since he was named a 2012 honorable mention selection as part of the all league West Catholic Athletic League squad.

Two plays in particular truly sum up Foothill and Grosey.. 13 games into his college experience in a December 16 overtime victory against Ohlone College, Grosey tied the game in regulation at 65 apiece with a trey from the left corner. This happened after he missed a three-pointer from the top of the key seconds earlier.

Being a key player because his length and inside-outside ability makes him the best Owl candidate for creating a shot, just what was he thinking during those frantic last seconds? “That my teammates trust me and it [the second attempt] was a good look.” He didn't hang his head after missing the initial attempt and felt no doubt about taking a second shot despite initially misfiring.

NCAA eligible coming out of high school, Grosey has the option to stay another year in Los Alto Hills or departing for higher pastures. Responding to a query of what the future holds for him, Grosey replied, “I don't mind leaving or I could stay, It depends on who and what,” meaning which coaches, basketball programs and schools offer.