Danny Granger, Jr. (born April 20, 1983) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has played at both the small forward and power forward positions. At times he has also played the point forward position. Before his professional career, he went to Grace King High School in Metairie, Louisiana, where he was a McDonald’s All-American nominee before his senior year. He was a strong student who scored a 30 on the ACT and was offered admission to Yale University. He played for Bradley University and then transferred to University of New Mexico in the middle of his sophomore year.
Granger graduated with a degree in civil engineering.
In 2008 Granger made a $500,000 pledge to his alma mater in support of the Lobo Leap to Excellence capital campaign to name the new men’s locker room in The Pit.
Granger was selected 17th overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers, as the organisation included former Lobo Mel Daniels and Hall of Famer Larry Bird, who was coached in college by the father of New Mexico men’s coach Bob King.
In his first NBA season, Granger played in 78 regular season games, averaging 7.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while making the All-NBA Rookie Second Team. He added 8.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 6 playoff games.
With the departure of Peja Stojaković and arrival of Al Harrington during the 2006 offseason, Granger became the Pacers’ starting small forward for 2006–07. After the first 15 games, he became the first man off the bench.
Since a January 17, 2007 eight-player trade with the Golden State Warriors, Granger started at the small forward and shooting guard spots, mainly due to the departure of Harrington. With the second and third scoring options (Harrington and Stephen Jackson, respectively) on the team gone, he was given more chances for scoring and averaged 13.9 points per game in 2006–07.
In 2007–08, Granger led the Pacers in scoring for the first time, averaging 19 points per game, while starting all 80 games he appeared in.
Following his breakout season in 2008–09, the next season was a bit of a disappointment, marred by injuries and losses. On March 26, 2010, however, Granger scored a new career-high 44 points against the Utah Jazz.
In the summer of 2010, Granger participated in the FIBA World Championship, playing for the US Senior National team. On September 12, the US team won the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, beating host country Turkey 81–64.
In the 2012–13 season, Granger only played 5 games due to patellar tendinosis.
On December 20, 2013, Granger made his season debut in a 114-81 home win against the Houston Rockets and received a standing ovation from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd. In 22 minutes, he recorded 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.
On October 31, 2008, Granger and the Pacers agreed on a 5-year contract extension. The contract paid him $9,930,500 in 2009–10 and escalates ten percent each year, ending after the 2013–14 season. The finalisation of the deal was announced that night, mere hours before the midnight deadline which, if passed without any agreement, would have made Granger a restricted free agent the following summer.
In the 2008–09 season, he scored a career high 42 points against the Detroit Pistons on December 12, 2008 and again against the Golden State Warriors on January 11, 2009. On January 29, 2009 Granger was announced as an All-Star reserve for the Eastern Conference. On May 12, 2009 Danny Granger was named the Most Improved Player for 2008–09. At the end of the 2008–09 season, Granger had raised his scoring average by at least five points per game each year (7.5, 13.9, 19.6, 25.8) for three consecutive years, becoming the only player in league history to do so.
Career highlights and awards
NBA All-Star (2009)
NBA Most Improved Player (2009)
NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2006)
FIBA World Championship
Gold medal – first place 2010 Turkey National team