Guard a star player? Battle the best? Illinois football recruit TJ Griffin Jr. gives his all for Stagg: ‘At the end of the day, this is who I am.’

Stagg's TJ Griffin Jr. (23) drives past Andrew's Zain Jubeh (11) to the basket during a SouthWest Suburban Red game in Palos Hills on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.
Steve Johnston / Daily Southtown

It’s not easy to guard the opposing team’s best player.

To be told it’s your job to keep a standout opponent from torching your team on a given night? Most people would shy away from a challenge like that in their second sport.

Stagg’s TJ Griffin Jr. isn’t like most people.

“I find joy in that,” he said. “If someone’s like, ‘Oh, that’s their best player,’ I’m like, ‘OK, let’s see what he can do against me.’ Let’s have a battle.”

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Casey Drottar is a Freelance Sports Reporter for The Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune and Shaw Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook


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