Photo courtesy of Flyer News.
Tori Miller | News Editor
Jayda Grant, daughter of University of Dayton men’s head basketball coach Anthony Grant, died Monday, according to an announcement from the university. Jayda was 20 years old.
“On behalf of the entire University of Dayton community, it is with devastating heartache we mourn the passing of Jayda Grant,” said President Eric Spina and Vice President and Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan in a joint statement. “We extend our deepest sympathies to Anthony, Chris and their entire family. They have our unconditional love and support. We pray for their comfort and peace, and support their need for privacy during this period of immeasurable grief.”
Jayda was the fourth born of five children and was the only daughter in the Grant family. As an excellent student, creative writer and passionate advocate for social justice issues, Jayda had an impact on the Flyer community that will not soon be forgotten.
Jayda also had a deep passion for running track and field. She ran in the 4×400, 200M, and 400M races during high school, at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School, and continued her career briefly at UD. She was not currently enrolled at the university at the time of her death, according to the athletic department.
Bernadette V. McGlade, commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference, also shared a statement:
“On behalf of the Atlantic 10 Conference, I offer our deepest condolences and prayers to Coach Grant, Chris and their family. Their beautiful Jayda left this Earth far too prematurely for us to comprehend. The A-10 extends unlimited support and strength to the Grants and the University of Dayton family.”
A private funeral was held for Jayda in Dayton on Friday. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) @ https://nami.org
The university released a statement from Anthony Grant Tuesday.
“On behalf of my entire family, I want to express our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all your prayers, love, kindness, and words of encouragement following the passing of our daughter, sister, and family member, Jayda Danielle Grant,” he said.
In the months leading up to her death, Jayda had been in treatment and therapy for mental health issues that she struggled with for two years, according to Grant.
“As we grieve our beloved Jayda, please know that our faith and your prayers sustain us and give us strength,” he said. “We encourage all of you to be advocates for your personal mental health and the health of those you love.”
The Grants said they plan to bring awareness to mental health issues and “advocate for more comprehensive mental health care” in the wake of their daughter’s death.
Grant concluded his message to the community with simple gratitude:
“Thank you and God Bless.”
Reactions from the basketball community:
This story was updated June 7 to include a statement from Anthony Grant.