Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010 | 2:10 a.m.
Grandy Glaze will tell you he was never cut out to play football, and he out-grew his first sport — soccer — what seems like ages ago.
Hence, the UNLV signee is no longer at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire and is playing his senior year of hoops at powerhouse Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass.
"At Proctor, you had to play a sport every single season, so basketball was just considered a winter sport," Glaze said. "And when it was over, it was over.
"Here, we eat, sleep and breathe basketball."
Football coaches at Proctor tried the thick, imposing 6-foot-6 Glaze at tight end. On the soccer field, he was used as a defender.
"(Opposing players) would basically hand the ball over to me," he joked. "I didn't have to play a lot of defense, really."
Basketball has always been just right for Glaze, and on Wednesday he cemented his next step, signing a national letter of intent to play at UNLV next fall.
Glaze at the moment is the only signee in UNLV's 2011 class, and after missing on a handful of point guard prospects, it's likely that Lon Kruger and his staff will now hold their remaining scholarship over. That would leave open the option of signing a transfer down the road, as that's been a successful play for the Rebels in recent years.
If Glaze is the lone member of the class at the end of the day, it's still a nice haul for UNLV, as the Toronto native currently checks in as the No. 138 prospect in the 2011 crop according to Rivals.com.
Glaze committed to the Rebels last March, when he said that a major selling point for him was being pushed hard by UNLV assistant Greg Grensing when on campus for the program's annual elite camp. Glaze said it was refreshing to be instructed rather than coddled at that type of event.
Glaze also had offers from West Virginia, South Florida and Akron before ending his recruitment early.
He's certainly not being brought along lightly this season at Notre Dame Prep, either.
It's a no-nonsense atmosphere that has bred several NCAA Division-I talents in recent years, highlighted by current Minnesota Timberwolves standout Michael Beasley.
Oddly enough, Glaze grew up idolizing Beasley, who tore apart the college basketball landscape during his one season at Kansas State before being selected second overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat.
"That's my guy," Glaze said. "I admire just how hard he plays. A lot of people don't give him credit for how hard he plays. He can be effective just rebounding the basketball. He doesn't even have to score. That's what I try to take from him — just being a beast."
Glaze is also trying to improve some other areas before heading to campus next summer.
On the floor, he's trying to better his ball-handling. Off of it, his time is spent between the classroom and the weight room.
Glaze has yet to take his standardized exams and is trying to bump up his grades. He said that he's being pushed harder academically at Notre Dame than ever before. He has yet to take an official visit to UNLV's campus and won't do so until his fall semester academic requirements have been met.
"Four B's this semester," said Glaze, who added that he currently is carrying a 2.4 GPA. "It's reality (here). A lot of other schools would just make you think it's all right. They've shown me the reality that if you don't work, you don't play."
Physically, he said that a stricter weight regimen has him down to 234 pounds, and he'd like to get down around between 220 and 225 before joining the Rebels.
The slimming down isn't coming from dieting but rather doing more work on strengthening his core.
It's all part of a grown-up approach Glaze has taken to his future with the biggest leap of his career on the horizon.
"I don't really have abs like that," he joked. "It sounds funny, but your core is where everything starts from. It's where all of your explosiveness comes from, and I'm pretty explosive right now, but imagine if I have a stronger core?
"My whole high school career, I'd always be thinking 'arms, arms arms,' then 'legs, legs, legs.' But I never really just sat down and said 'Hey, why don't I do some sit-ups?'"