Varsity Basketball

Breaking: Maize’s Caleb Grill reopens basketball recruitment

Maize’s Caleb Grill
Maize’s Caleb Grill The Wichita Eagle

One of the top five basketball players in Kansas is back on the market.

Maize senior star Caleb Grill reopened his recruitment on Friday. He had signed his National Letter of Intent to play at South Dakota State upon his graduation, but now-former coach TJ Otzelberger moved from SDSU to UNLV, causing reason for pause. Otzelberger was hired Wednesday.

Grill said he had no communication ahead of Otzelberger’s move, so it came as a “blindside.” Although the decision to reopen was an emotional one, Grill said there is still a good shot he honors his commitment to SDSU.

“With what I built relationship-wise with all the other players and coaches and everybody up there, I was really just heartbroken,” Grill said. “I’m not going to say anything negative about anybody else up there, but TJ was a big reason why I decided to go there. I love everyone up there, but with TJ gone, it’s just a lot different.”

Grill said he has been in contact with several schools but that because most of the SDSU staff is still in tact, including Eric Henderson who was promoted from associate head coach, that plays a factor.

Grill said he was hurt at first. He built a strong relationship with Otzelberger, he said. But after some time, he started to reason through his former coach’s decision. Grill realized Otzelberger made the decision that was best for him.

Grill held offers from Texas Tech, Nebraska, SMU and others. Grill said because National Signing Day has come and gone, he does not believe those offers still stand with programs having filled out their class of 2019 rosters.

“It just depends on who calls me over these next couple days,” Grill said.

Grill was named to the Wichita Eagle’s top five and Class 5A first team. He is the two-time AVCTL I MVP and led Maize to a third-place finish at state in 2019.

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