At the beginning of the season, freshman Kelvin Grady admitted he was behind the curve in picking up Michigan coach John Beilien’s offense.

Julie Rowe
Freshman point guard Kelvin Grady has started all eight games this season and is averaging seven points and 2.6 assists per game. (BEN SIMON/Daily)

But he was ahead of the curve in other facets.

Kelvin’s older brother, junior Kevin Grady, is a running back for the football team.

The older Grady was invaluable in helping his younger brother adjust to life at Michigan. But the jump to college also the chance to spend more time with a family member whom he had lived away from for more than two years.

Kevin enrolled in Ann Arbor a semester early, in January 2005, to acclimate to college and participate in spring practice. This extra time in Ann Arbor meant less time with his younger brother in Grand Rapids.

Now, the siblings are reunited and making up for lost time together.

The brothers eat meals. After study table, Kelvin sometimes goes to his brother’s to hang out. He spends more time there on weekends, though.

“It’s obviously an advantage to have my brother here,” Kelvin said. “To be able to (call him and say), ‘Kev, come to where I am. Let’s talk face to face.’

“That face-to-face conversation and being with your family members and being able to relate, growing up in the same household, same mom, same dad, pretty much made of the same caliber. To be able to have him on campus is great.”

With his brother’s experience, Kelvin avoided some of the issues that first-year students typically face.

“He has the key,” Kelvin said. “He’s been here for three years, so he’s going to tell me the ins and outs of what’s going on.”

On the court, Kevin can’t help out as much. But that didn’t stop Kelvin from seeking out advice elsewhere.

Before the season, Kelvin was curious about what it was like to play on a John Beilein-coached team.

So he called his former teammate from East Grand Rapids High School, Jamie Smalligan, who played for Beilein at West Virginia. Smalligan actually transferred to West Virginia to play for Beilein.

“(Jamie) said he loved him,” Grady said, “and that I would love him. We both came from a program where Beilein was the type of coach that would fit perfect in our program.”

Taking what he learned from his brother and his high school teammate, Kelvin has had a smooth transition into college basketball.

He has started every game this season, displaying a quickness and shot that’s making Michigan fans excited for the next four years of basketball in Ann Arbor.

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