Sports

The Bradys on basketball, parenting and faith

John Brown University was not Griffin Brady’s first choice, but it was the best choice for him and his family.

With the transfer of leadership from the previous Golden Eagle coach Clark Sheehy to Jason Beschta, Griffin Brady, along with Lauren Brady and son Heaton, moved from Boise, Idaho to Siloam Springs with the hope for Brady to finish his business marketing degree and play basketball on scholarship at JBU.

Griffin graduated from high school in 2007 but paused in finishing his degree to take time off to work and get married.

Griffin played for two other community colleges before playing for and graduating from Northeastern Community College in 2010.

Griffin stayed in Colorado as he worked for a solar company, but later moved to St. Louis to attempt a change of careers at the advice of his boss.

“My supervisor thought that I should be doing things in front of people, like sales,” Griffin said.

Nine months after working in sales in St. Louis, Griffin met Lauren at his younger sister’s wedding.

“We were partnered to go down the aisle together,” Lauren said, who was basketball teammates with Griffin’s sister at Boise State University.

“What’s really ironic about it is that one year before that my sister said, ‘I want you to come to my game tonight because I want to introduce you to one of my teammates,’” Griffin said. “Come go on a blind date with her.”

At the time, Griffin declined his sister’s offer. But with continual nudging and the partnership in the wedding, both were smitten as they walked down the aisle.

“We ended up with the big, ‘I told you so’ from his sister,” Lauren joked.

Married in 2013, Heaton, their son, soon came after.

Griffin knew that he wanted to go back to school for basketball.

Coach Beschta contacted Brady while he was coaching for Oklahoma Wesleyan and thought that he would be a good fit for the team.

“Griffin is a high energy guy who really wants to win and really wants to do the right thing,” Beschta said. “He’s a great team guy and cares about the team’s success over his own. He’s competitive and teachable.”

Brady committed in 2013, but with his marriage and baby requiring his attention, deferred attending school for another year.

“I built a pretty good relationship with Coach Beschta before I ever had shown up to play for him,” Griffin said. “That’s the one thing that really made me comfortable in following him. I really developed a good relationship with Coach Beschta. If I had a worry or concern or if Lauren had a concern, he was willing to get back to us in a timely manner, and anything that he has told us has actually happened.”

Because of this, when Griffin and Lauren received the call that Beschta would transfer to JBU, they followed him along.

“The move from Oklahoman Wesleyan to JBU has been so much better for us in the long run, I think as far as location, in living right by the school,” Griffin said. “I feel very fortunate that Coach Beschta was able to hang on as long as he did to me and now I’m here.”

Brady grew up as the middle child of seven children in an athletic and Mormon household.

Five of his six siblings played or are playing basketball on scholarship. His eldest brother even played for the D-League NBA’s minor league team and now coaches.

As to his Mormon faith, Griffin is no longer practicing and is now a non-denominational Christian.

“My brother, Trevor, asked me a few questions about it and he said that he never really understood when families would completely disown somebody for being baptized Mormon or LDS, and you never really think about the flip side until it happens to you,” Griffin said. “He asked questions about where the differences for me was. He was the most understanding. My family dynamic has not changed at all because of it. They’ve all accepted it, but it made my mom disappointed that I am not in the same religion.”

Now at JBU, Brady juggles basketball, school and his family as he continues to provide a better life for him and his family.

“You have to pick and choose what you are going to do at certain times. Prioritize,” Griffin said.

Griffin and Lauren are thankful for their many blessings.

“I always prayed for a best friend,” Lauren said. “To have someone who is there for you no matter what, if you could not have a better friend than your spouse. Someone that you are with every day and that you can count on no matter what, that is something that I have really enjoyed with Griffin. He’s my husband but at the same time, he is my best friend.”

Lauren and Griffin both agree that they would want to grow Heaton up in a stable environment with both a mom and dad, as well as growing him in the faith and as a child of God.

“Being a parent is humbling and it gives you a whole new appreciation for the gift of life,” Lauren said. “I feel like a more legit family with Heaton.”

As Lauren works from home and takes care of Heaton, Griffin continues to work harder for a better life for him and his family.