Ja’Karius Grant runs through records in senior season after overcoming heart surgery

Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 11:17 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The West Lauderdale Knights have one of the top high school running backs in the nation on their team this season. Senior Ja’Karius Grant has already broken five school records.

He had 250 rushing yards, 22 carries and four touchdowns alone in the Knights 72-15 victory in round one of the playoffs Friday night. But last season Grant did not get to compete.

Grant said, “Well I really just wanted to be there for my team. But I knew I couldn’t be there because of my heart so I had to make that change in order for me to be there for my senior year.”

What started out as a light headed feeling, quickly escalated. In the beginning of his junior season, Grant found out he had extra tissue over his heart and would need heart surgery.”

“I told him that it was going to be alright,” said Joan Zinn, Grant’s mom. “I mean it ain’t nothing but a little procedure that’s all.”

However, Grant and his family found out it was a little more than just a small procedure.

Grant posted to social media saying, “My life has made so many turns. It started out as me not knowing that I had something wrong with my heart, then finding out that I might not ever play football again because of the condition my heart was in.”

The thought of never playing football again was just crushing.

“It was just bad,” said Grant. “There was so many emotions going through my body, It was just horrible really.”

As soon as the doctors said that the surgery went successfully, Grant was already looking to his next opprotunity to suit up for the Knights. Now he is just three touchdowns away from breaking the West Lauderdale single season touchdown record.

Grant has not let anything stop him this season and is now more motivated to make every play count.

Grant said, “I didn’t get a chance to play my whole junior season. There was just a bunch of stuff built up in me. I had to let it out.”

He let it out on the football field.

Head coach of the West Lauderdale Knights Brock Clay said, “Just with the way that things went down last year, very proud of the year that he’s having and the obstacles that he has overcome.”

“I try to be the best really. And for all the other ones that are coming up, I want them to be better than me.”

West Lauderdale will host Senatobia in the second round of the playoffs Friday night.

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