(WAND-TV) -- As the Olympic games get closer and closer, one University of Illinois basketball player is helping his country prepare for the games.

Illini graduate student Jacob Grandison, a dual citizen of the United States and of Finland, has been named to the Finnish National Team and is heading overseas to train with the team this summer.

Grandison will return to the University of Illinois in mid-July to prepare for the upcoming season, but before that, he will take a trip to Japan to play in a pre-preparation tournament before the Olympics. 

"It is an honor to have this opportunity to represent Finland," Grandison said in a University of Illinois athletics press release. "I also am proud to represent Illinois and the Illini Nation. I am going to make the most of this opportunity. Since completing my undergraduate degree in May, and been accepted to the GIES Business School, I have been training at home every day. My first daily workout starts at 4:45 am. My commitment to be the best I can be will continue with training in Helsinki and culminating with competition in Japan. I'm excited to get a taste of international basketball while still in college, and then apply those lessons next season to help our team win a championship."

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.