The Three A’s: The Griffin Family Produces A Trio of Division I Prospects

Photo courtesy of Tom Sampogna/Frankie Williams Charity Classic.

Basketball is a game that serves purposes such as unity. It can even bring unity in a household with families. In this day & age, there are siblings in the pro ranks that have made their mark such as the Lopez twins (Brook & Robin), the Morris twins (Marcus & Markieff) & last, but definitely not least, the Ball brothers (Lonzo, LiAngelo & LaMelo), all of whom have been making statements on the hoops scene for the last couple of years.

In the Westchester County, New York, there is a trio of siblings that are on the high school scene that have been making noise in the tri-state area. This story is about the Griffin family, which has a three basketball playing kids, and live in Ossining, New York.

Everything starts with the patriarch of the family, Adrian Griffin, Sr., who was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, and played Division I basketball at Seton Hall University from 1992 to 1996. In four years with the Pirates, he scored 1,414 points and had 803 rebounds, and helped them make two NCAA Tournament appearances and a Big East Tournament championship in his freshman season in 1992-93. As a senior in 1995-96, he averaged 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, which helped him garned All-Big East second team honors.

Adrian Griffin, Sr. during his college years at Seton Hall. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images).

Following his collegiate years, he went undrafted in the 1996 NBA Draft and played in the CBA and overseas in Italy, before getting a chance to play in the NBA for the Boston Celtics in 1999. Griffin would go on to have a ten-year career, in which he played for five teams, including two separate stints with the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls.

Since retiring from the League in 2008, Griffin, Sr., has been an assistant coach for four teams, such as the Bulls, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Orlando Magic and presently, the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has also gotten the chance to coach superstars such as Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.

Now, about his kids. All of them are top-tier Division I prospects. The oldest of the trio, is Alan Griffin, a 6-foot-5 forward that shows good perimeter skills and has a lot of versatility to go along with it.

Alan Griffin is presented with the CHSAA Intersectional Tournament’s Most Valuable Player. (Photo courtesy of Dave’s Joint.)

“Just playing the game,” said Alan on what motivates him to be successful on the hardwood. “Just playing the game, it’s a great game overall.”

When asked about lessons that the elder Griffin has taught him, he replied, “He taught me a lot of things, a lot of things about the game. Stuff on and off the court to help me, to get me ready for games and stuff, overall, getting ready for the next level.”

This season, as a senior at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, he averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks per game as he led the Crusaders to a 27-5 record, the CHSAA Archdiocesan and city titles and also the New York State Federation title, as well as the No. 1 ranking in the state of New York.

Alan Griffin shoots over the Christ the King defense during the city championship game at Fordham University on March 12th. (Photo courtesy of Ben Shot It/Ben Berry)

“That was great. That was something we wanted to since last year, and it was great to get it done this year,” said Alan on his spectacular senior season.

On March 2nd, he committed to Illinois and would sign his letter of intent on April 11th to play for the Fighting Illini in the Big Ten Conference next season. When asked about what made him sign to the Illinois, he replied, “What made me commit to Illinois? I went to the campus there first, and I loved it, and I saw myself being there even if I didn’t play basketball, so that’s the reason. And I used to live two hours away from Champaign, in Chicago.”

On what to expect from him in the Big Ten next season as a freshman, he replied, “I see myself being a lot of things, defensive-wise, offensive-wise, like bringing shooting, defense and length, and just getting a great player out of me.”

The next Griffin on deck is Aubrey Griffin. The 6-foot-1 junior forward is listed as the No. 56 prospect in the Class of 2019 by ESPN. She is a player who has versatility, a mid-range game and is a skilled rebounder.

“I do it for myself, I go out and push myself each day, so I can prepare for myself for the next level,” says Aubrey.

When asked about what lessons she imparted from her father, she replied, “He taught me how to have a good work ethic. Well, I always had a good work ethic, but he’s helped push me and taught me the game of basketball.”

Aubrey Griffin muscles her way into the hole against Peekskill. (Photo courtesy of Lohud Journal Insider)

Aubrey plays at Ossining High School, which has a powerhouse program under longtime head coach Dan Ricci. “It means a lot, especially since we’ve had girls like Saniya Chong and Andra [Espinoza-Hunter], to like play after them and like be up there with them, so it feels good.” she says about being from a town which has produced a lot of top-tier girls talent.

This past season, she led the Pride to a 23-4 record and a sectional title, while averaging 28.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game and won the Section 1 Miss Basketball Award, which is the highest award given to the best female player in Westchester County. She has also reached the 1,000-point milestone.

When asked about her junior season as a whole, Aubrey replied, “We did really good as a whole team. I would say our team was getting better as the season went on.”

And her recruitment is lining up, with big-time schools such as Louisville, UConn, Mississippi State, Duke, Boston College vying for her services. “I want to visit the schools before I pick. I feel like I need to go and see if I like it before I commit.”

And lastly, there is the youngest Griffin of the crew, Adrian Griffin, Jr., or A.J. as he is commonly known.

The 6-foot-4 freshman has a lot of explosion in his game and a very high-motor, and shows promise as one of the top players in his class.

When asked what makes him want to be successful on the hardwood, he replied, “Just like playing with heart, and my brother, always plays hard and I like playing against him. I like to do my best and give 100%.”

When asked about lessons he learned from his namesake, the younger Griffin replied, “He just told me to play the right way and showed me the right details to be good.”

This season, as a freshman at Stepinac, he was one of the best players alongside his older brother, and averaged 11.6 points per game, and was the Crusaders third-leading scorer on the team.

Alan and A.J. Griffin with their parents, Adrian Sr., and Audrey. (Photo courtesy of Dave’s Joint)

When asked about his first year of varsity basketball, he replied, “I just felt like we all had a role to do, and I just fit in, they didn’t care who I was, and whoever could play, could play, and so I just went in there and played good [every time out on the floor].”

When you ask Alan and A.J. about playing with one another for one season on the court, here’s their take on it:

“Great, great. I love playing with my bro,” said Alan, “Even though it was only for one year, it’s still great. It’s something I can look back on.”

A.J’s take? “Playing with my brother was great. We have a connection, so we’ve played with each other for a long time, and we know our weaknesses and our strengths, and like where we’re going to be so, it was fun playing with him.”

At the present moment, A.J. has garnered the attention of schools such as Seton Hall, St. John’s, Providence, Wake Forest, Fordham, Maryland and Manhattan to name a few. But expect more to come within the next couple of years.

So what’s next for the trio? For Alan, he will have graduation tomorrow and will go off to Illinois for summer session to attend classes and go through workouts. For Aubrey, she will be trying out for the U17 USA Basketball squad in Colorado this week and will play AAU with the Hudson River Breeze program. As for A.J., he will be competing in the Pangos All-American Camp next weekend in Cerritos, California and on the 15U squad with the ProScholars Athletics Cardinals on the Nike AAU circuit.

But one thing is for certain, all three of them will be Division I-bound prospects, and will attend college for free. As for what happens after that, that’s another story waiting to be told. But years from now, people will remember the Griffin Family.

Highlights of Alan, Aubrey and A.J. Griffin:

Courtesy of Sports on the Side.

Courtesy of Kevin Devaney, Jr.

Courtesy of HS Box Scores, LLC.

Courtesy of Kevin Devaney, Jr.

Courtesy of Kevin Devaney, Jr.

Courtesy of Kevin Devaney, Jr.

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