| Graves Brothers Return to Hardwood |
When most people think about package deals, often vacation resorts and airfare combos come to mind. For the University of St. Thomas men’s basketball team, Celts fans get one family with two times the skills on the court in forwards Andrew and Patrick Graves.
The Graves brothers, both senior marketing majors who hail from Liberty Hills High School in Austin, Texas, have one thing on their minds this season: success.
Andrew, 6 feet 7 inches, and Patrick, 6 feet 5 inches, have transitioned from grade school to college together, pushing each other in every element of the sport. From shooting free throws in their parents’ driveway to strategically executing set plays as collegiate athletes, the Graves look forward to a high-octane season.
The brothers, like most players, have set personal goals for themselves goals for their team.
“We hold ourselves to a very high standard while running drills and in our games,” Patrick said. “We push each other hard on every drill, free throw, rebound and shot. The simplest drill has always been an opportunity to push each other to do better than we did before.”
The Graves brothers have worked diligently to improve their game on the field and in the classroom after coming to the University. Andrew has logged highs of 17 points versus Wiley College and 11 rebounds against Southwest Assemblies of God University. Patrick saw similar success with game highs of 20 points while playing Spring Hill College, six 3-pointers against Spring Hill College and seven rebounds versus William Carey University.
Patrick is a wing player who creates situations for open shots for teammates and knocking down open perimeter shots.
UST Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Head Coach Todd Smith, responsible for rebuilding the men’s basketball program in 2009, has guided the Graves brothers and their teammates toward successes such as finishing in the top 25 in scoring defense for the second year in a row.
“It’s been a great experience to be a part of building this program with my teammates under the guidance of Coach Smith,” Andrew said. “I am looking forward to a great season and improving on our successes.”
Andrew began playing post for the first time as a senior in high school. Though the transition was challenging, he has practiced his post footwork while working to maintain his 15-footer, rebounds and blocks.
“I am focused on staying healthy this season, and I want nothing more than to achieve two things: to get all-conference team and help win the conference for our team,” Patrick said.
Smith acknowledges the great job both Andrew and Patrick have done academically and on the court. Smith likens the pair to an anomaly because they have grown since joining the program, though most players have ended their growth spurt by their college career.
“I am very proud of their approach to being better in the classroom and the pride they take in doing their best to succeed academically and on the court,” Smith said. “They both added inches to their height since they’ve been a part of the team, and with that came maturity in the game with every year.”
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Photo One: Andrew Graves
Photo Two: Patrick Graves
Photo Three: Patrick Graves, Andrew Graves