Guitar: The Baseline of John Grismer’s Basketball Career
By Baker Reding '21
John Grismer ‘21 is not just a Cadet and a basketball captain, but is also a musician. Grismer has found his passion for playing the guitar and writing music. High school students tend to have a lot on their plate, especially at STA, and on Grismer’s was the challenging basketball season:“Obviously, it was not the ideal season, but I found playing my guitar as a way to combat the stress built up from losing so many games. I am fortunate that I have something that I can do to relieve my stress because, without it, the winter would have gone by in slow motion,” said Grismer.
Grismer has been fascinated by music since his days playing the piano routinely and claims, “I get my musical curiosity from my sisters,” who both play piano and guitar. Watching his older sisters thrive on the guitar, John was eager to give it a try. Throughout the summer before junior year, he spent hours learning the basics of the guitar and quickly began to write his own lyrics to complement his style.
Style. On the surface, Saint Thomas Academy may seem to be a high school filled only with two mutually exclusive styles or categories, jocks and brainiacs; however, we are a school filled with many Renaissance men and John Grismer is certainly one of them. Grismer is a captain on the basketball team, a writer for this very publication, and a serious musician. While playing the guitar and playing basketball might seem to be two completely different activities, Grismer sees the connection: “Choosing to play basketball was the first decision I made on my own,” he said, “guitar was the next thing I chose. As I get more comfortable with playing the guitar and singing, I want to show others that you can do many things with your life.”
Telling people at Saint Thomas Academy you play guitar may seem like a feat that will be followed by chirping and ridicule, “but that is not the truth,” said Grismer. From the start, John has had the support of family and friends, “my family, especially my sisters, supported me playing the guitar and writing music from day one. In fact, playing the guitar has brought my sisters and I closer together; we often find ourselves playing and singing together.” “Not to say I didn’t expect people to support me at school, but I had no idea that this many people would think what I do is ‘cool,’” said Grismer.
In fact, there are two Cadets that have supported Grismer from the start, Jack Schwab and Danny McFadden. “When I put my songs on Spotify and Apple Music, they were the first ones to come up to me and congratulate and compliment me. It meant more than they could ever know.” When I asked John what he would say to those who have a talent but are unsure how people will react to it he said: “It will not be easy at first, but you can’t be afraid to show people who you are. Even if it isn’t their thing, they will still respect you for doing what you love. Being authentic is the best way to get people to respect you.”
As John Grismer’s experience makes clear, Saint Thomas is a place full of multi-talented young men, and no matter what you are interested in, there will be a Cadet in your corner ready to cheer you on.
Photograph by Liam Brennan '21