Andru Garrett is a KC Superstar.
And that lofty title has nothing to do with the recent Grain Valley High School graduate being a member of The Examiner’s All-Area basketball team or earning all-state honors as a member of the Eagles’ track and field team.
No, Garrett earned KC Superstar status by making it all the way to the semifinal round of the American Idol-style singing competition at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park.
More than 200 participants entered the competition and he made it to the round of 21, which performed Monday. He failed, though, to make the final cut of 10 finalists who will compete for one of four scholarships, including $10,000 for the winner, at Johnson County (Kan.) Community College’s Yardley Hall on Aug. 26.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Garrett, who will major in fashion and design at Missouri State University in Springfield, where he also hopes to walk onto the Bears basketball team. “I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember.
“The first time I really sang in front of an audience was in fourth grade. I sang Michael Jackson’s ‘Ben’ at our school talent show. I’ve always sang in my church and now I sing in the choir at New Life Church in Oak Grove.”
Garrett transferred to Grain Valley his senior year after attending Blue Springs High School his three previous years.
“I thought it would be hard to make the change my senior year, but everyone at Grain Valley was so welcoming. It was a lot easier than I thought,” Garrett said. “I earned some No. 1 ratings at state in an ensemble, but I never really sang at Grain Valley – there were so many other things I wanted to do.
“I was really excited about their basketball program (which won the Missouri River Valley Conference crown for the third year in a row) and I hadn’t run track in a while and we had a lot of success in track (winning the conference title). It was just a great experience. The perfect experience to head off to college for new challenges.”
While his love of sport and signing is evident from his most recent success stories, his love of fashion is something that has developed over the years.
“I love fashion,” he said. “I was really inspired by (former Kansas player) Kelly Oubre, who plays for the NBA’s Washington Wizards. He has a great sense of style and I’m trying to develop my own sense of style, too.
“Missouri State has one of the best fashion and design programs in the country and I’m really excited about going there. I think being in that kind of an environment can help me reach – or even exceed – my potential when it comes to fashion design.
“And I might even find a play to do a little bit of singing, too.”