LA VERNE, CALIF. - As Arizona power forward commit Grant Jerrett prepares for his final season at La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran, the four-star recruit has had to take on an added role this season.
Jerrett has been asked to take the position of leader for a young Trojans squad, which will be attempting to defend its state title once again this year. While he has been an impact player during his time at La Verne Lutheran, Jerrett has not had to be the main go-to guy in years past.
The 6-foot-9 prospect said the role isn't something that necessarily comes naturally to him, but he has done his best to embrace it.
"It is something I have to work at," Jerrett said. "I've been doing a decent job in fall leagues and stuff like that, but having that role is a big step for me because I've never done this before. I've never been the leader.
"I've been a guy that scores and rebounds, but it's not the captain of the team or anything like that. So this is new for me and I'm just going to give it a shot."
Something that does come naturally for Jerrett is working hard, and he said that attitude toward the game is something that really defines the type of player he is.
"I think it's just something that's inside of me, it's a habit," Jerrett said about his work ethic. "If I came out and played sluggish or I didn't work hard, I'd feel like I just wasted my time. So it's just natural for me to come out and work hard."
Another aspect of basketball that comes naturally to Jerrett is winning, and it's what will be his main focus this year with the Trojans.
"We've been targeted for a couple years now," Jerrett said. "So it's a big responsibility to play hard every game because you don't want to slack off one game and have people going around talking about how they can beat you.
"It's just about going out and showing people that you deserve that credibility of being a good team and winning championships. So we just gotta come out and play hard."
Winning is something that he hopes to bring with him to Tucson when he arrives next fall, but for right now Jerrett said his focus is on the here and now. He added that he knows what the expectations are going to be for the 2012 class, but it's not something he cares to pay attention to, yet.
"I really don't even think about it right now," Jerrett said. "I'm thinking about high school, and I'll start thinking about it once I get to Arizona and the season starts. People can say whatever they want, but we're going to play to the best of our ability and work."
When he does start thinking about what the future could hold, Jerrett said the future Wildcats' versatility is what is going to set them apart in the years to come.
"It's (versatility) going to help a lot, because it's going to create a lot of mismatches," Jerrett said. "We have Kaleb (Tarczewski) who can also shoot and he's a big man, so if we can feed him and get him a couple points, then they'll start double-teaming him and Brandon (Ashley) will get a shot or me or Gabe (York).
"Me and Brandon coming in with our versatility is going to help a lot, not only for us but for our teammates, to help us get what we want to get and that's a championship."
As for when he finally arrives in Tucson, Jerrett kept it simple as to what he will be most excited for next fall.
"Being able to play with three guys that I really know," Jerrett said. "And just being able to go to college and playing in a packed game every night. And just being able to play a game that I love."
With the continued buzz building around next year's class, Jerrett will likely get his wish.
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