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Richmond Spiders Gilyard and Golden close on and off the court

Posted at 3:20 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 15:23:18-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Grant Golden and Jacob Gilyard are the tallest and shortest players on the University of Richmond Spiders men's basketball roster. To see them walking down the street, you might never guess they played the same sport.

But they do and the two have been roommates and close friends over their entire time at UR.

Their relationship off the court has helped their chemistry while playing, to the point where it's almost telepathic.

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Jacob Gilyard and Grant Golden

Their friendship formed almost instantly as freshmen over an inside joke that still makes them laugh.

"We didn't really talk that much. Then there was this one day in d-hall, where an inside joke was made and me and him were the only ones that thought it was funny. He was rolling around on the floor laughing. That's where it started," Golden recalled.

They have gone on to be one of the most prolific duos in Spider basketball history.

They have each scored well over 1,000 thousand points.

Many of those points have come after a pass from the other.

They credit a sixth sense that each seems to have about the other's position on the court.

"It's to the point now where, if I'm trailing the play and we get into that trail where he goes backdoor when I dribble at him, I'm pretty confident at this point in my career that that's two points," Golden said.

"They're super motivated to be great players," Spiders coach Chris Mooney said. "They're in the gym a lot, they're talking basketball a lot."

"I think we're both pretty basketball-oriented, our life revolves around it for sure," Gilyard added."We both kind of appreciate the way we play. I think it made it that much easier to like each other off the court."

Golden admitted Gilyard is the tidier of the two roommates.

"It's not like I'm super sloppy," Golden said. "I'm sort of in that in-between area, so his neatness sort of brings me along a little bit."

And with some prodding, they can even agree Gilyard is the better passer. But for his size, Golden does extremely well in getting the ball to his teammates.

"For a 6-10 guy, Grant is exceptional," Coach Mooney said."Overall, Jacob is probably a little bit better passer."

The teammates, roommates, and friends combined for 22 points in the Spiders' loss Thursday in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

While both students are seniors, both could take advantage of the NCAA's COVID-related rule that offers an additional year of eligibility to student-athletes.

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