Former Kansas basketball player Tyon Grant-Foster receives high accolade at new school

Former Jayhawk Tyon Grant-Foster took home a prestigious conference award at his new school.
GCU guard Tyon Grant-Foster (7) drives against Tarleton State guard Lue Williams (4) during a game
GCU guard Tyon Grant-Foster (7) drives against Tarleton State guard Lue Williams (4) during a game / Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY

Very few players have endured a more difficult path to the top than former JUCO and Kansas basketball product Tyon Grant-Foster. The same player who suffered two near-death experiences on the court in less than a year is now one of the biggest mid-major stars in the country.

Grant-Foster, whose basketball career was in jeopardy due to a recurring heart condition, was medically cleared over the summer and committed to Grand Canyon for his final season of collegiate eligibility. He has overcome his past medical struggles and performed at an elite level during the regular season for the Lopes.

Across 30 games, he averaged 19.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals on 44.6% shooting. His tremendous play helped GCU win the regular season conference title and recently earned him the 2023-24 WAC Player of the Year award after missing practically two seasons.

The story of his ascent is incredible and arguably the best in college basketball this season. Despite thinking he would never be able to play competitively on the hardwood again, Grant-Foster is receiving one of the highest honors a player can obtain in the regular season.

Grant-Foster propelled his team to a 27-4 record (17-3 in WAC play) and a perfect 16-0 at home. The Lopes hold victories over several quality opponents, including an upset over San Diego State in nonconference play. The Kansas City native led the WAC in multiple statistics, such as points per game, field goals and free throws made, player efficiency rating, and win shares.

He spent two years at JUCO before transferring to Kansas basketball for the 2020-21 season. During that year, he averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in a reserve role. He would transfer again to DePaul following that year, but he collapsed in the locker room during halftime of his first game with the Blue Demons.

Even though his time at KU was short-lived, Grant-Foster still has love for the Jayhawks. “I loved going to KU,” Grant-Foster said last year. “Obviously, I wish I would’ve gotten more opportunity on the court but I learned a lot, I love all those coaches, Coach Self, Coach KT, all those guys are great people. They all talk to me still. There’s no ill will. There’s no bad blood. I learned how to play real defense at KU. Maybe if I had played it a little bit better, I would’ve gotten on the court more, but hey, you live and you learn. I appreciate them.

If GCU can win the WAC Tournament — which begins tomorrow, Mar. 15 for them — they will receive an automatic bid to go dancing in March Madness for a second consecutive season. Grant-Foster and the Lopes will look to shock the world before his time in the NCAA comes to a close.