MISSOULA — Ahmaad Rorie’s homecoming on Friday in Seattle will be quite the family affair.
The Montana redshirt junior from Tacoma, Washington, is expecting numerous family and friends to be in attendance when the Grizzly men's basketball team tips off at 9 p.m. against the Washington Huskies. He’ll also have a close family friend with him on the court.
Rorie’s cousin on his mom’s side, David Crisp, is a 6-foot, 195-pound junior guard at Washington. It’ll be the first time they play against each other in a meaningful game after they played together at Clover Park High School and for the Northwest Panthers AAU team.
“It’s going to be a lot of emotions,” Rorie said after Wednesday’s practice. “I don’t want to lose to him; he doesn’t want to lose to me. We’re going to try to play hard and try to win. We’re similar players, same height, so it’s going to be a good matchup between us. It’s going to be real fun to go out there.”
The two of them still try to text or FaceTime often and Rorie said there are too many good memories to choose just one. However, winning the Washington Class 2A state title together as freshmen in 2010-11 stood out; they were the team’s two leading scorers and knocked off the three-time defending state champs, Squalicum, to capture the first title in school history.
From time to time, Rorie spent nights over at Crisp’s house since it was closer than his family’s house was to the high school. After Rorie’s family moved from Lakewood to Tacoma, he transferred to Lincoln High School, one level higher at Class 3A. That led to the only time they’ve played each other, when their schools squared off in a laid-back summer-league game.
“I last talked to him (Sunday),” Rorie said. “We were talking about how after the game we’re going to go eat with our families, so that’s cool. There hasn’t been too much trash talking about the game.”
Rorie didn’t get to play against Crisp when the Griz lost at Washington, 92-62, in 2015. He redshirted that year after he transferred to Montana from Oregon. Crisp scored 14 points in that game.
When Rorie played his one season at Oregon, Crisp wasn’t yet at Washington. Although they were in the same class levels together in high school, Crisp transferred to Rainier Beach High School as a senior and then went to Brewster Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire, for a year. He entered college one year behind Rorie and was rated the 17th-best point guard in the nation.
They could’ve been teammates at Washington, but Rorie — ESPN’s No. 3 prospect in the state — chose Cal over UW, Washington State, Oregon, Arizona State, Missouri, Memphis and Wichita State. He signed his letter of intent to play for then-head coach Mike Montgomery and then-assistant coach Travis DeCuire; he was granted his release when they weren’t retained.
Rorie is now playing for DeCuire and was named to the All-Big Sky second team last season and the Big Sky preseason all-conference team this season. He leads the Griz in points (17.8), assists (3.7) and steals (1.7).
Crisp has played in all 77 games at Washington and has started the past 43. This season, he’s averaging 13 points, 3.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds.
Rorie expects to guard Crisp throughout the game. Crisp won’t primarily guard him since Washington plays a zone defense.
“He’s a lefty, so he’s unorthodox,” Rorie said. “He’s a real good shooter, similar to myself. He can get to the basket as well. He can dunk. He can jump real high for his size. He’s a real flashy player, so he tries to get the crowd involved in the game and tries to make his team feed off his energy.”