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Former Irish stars Connaughton and Grant give back to South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It has been a busy offseason for former Notre Dame hoops stars Pat Connaughton and Jerian Grant.

They continued their offseason back on campus this week, working out in preparation of the coming NBA campaign, but the duo also did some good with a backpack giveaway to local youth.

“We’re able to do a few different things [now that we’re in the NBA], “ said Connaughton. “We’re able to work out at different places. So we’re able to come back here and continue with not only the basketball team but Notre Dame as a whole, and get the community engaged.”

That engagement resulted in a line spanning the full length of the sidewalk outside of the campus bookstore.

There was such a high demand for those free backpacks that more than 400 were handed out and still couldn’t accommodate the full crowd.

Members of Connaughton and Grant’s crew actually had to go on an emergency run for more – but it was still not enough.

They gave out binders, pencils, and even just loose-leaf paper, then took photos and gave autographs for the unlucky fans who were a little too late.

While this was a smaller gesture they still had a huge impact on their adopted home here in South Bend.

“In a town that turned us from boys to men, it meant a lot,” said Grant. “Education is power, so I feel like any chance we can give back to show that school is important to get where you want, it’s great.”

Soon, the two will part ways to continue working towards the NBA season in which they both begin new journeys.

Grant has joined the Orlando Magic after two seasons in Chicago, while just this week, Connaughton signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.

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