Gray leads Green Wave with versatile play
Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 19, 2006
For 16-year old Juan Gray, the game of basketball is almost second nature and that has shown this season as he currently leads the Cathedral Green Wave basketball team in points, assists and steals.
So far this season, Gray, a junior, is averaging just over 22 points a game, three assists and two and a half steals. He is second in rebounds for the Green Wave, averaging six per game.
“Juan is the most fluid moving basketball player I have ever coached,” Cathedral head basketball coach Peter Arnold said.
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Beside his ability to move, Arnold said his unselfish attitude and vertical leaping ability make him a versatile player. He said while Gray mostly splits his time on the court at the point guard or shooting guard position, he also will sometimes play him in the paint as a forward.
Gray said he likes playing the point guard position, but is comfortable playing other positions as well.
“I love the game of basketball. I have been around it my entire life,” Gray said. “I have been playing as long as I can remember, at least since the first grade.”
All that time spent on the court paid of for Gray over the summer when he was selected to play for the Mississippi Junior National Team.
Gray said he received a letter inviting him to try out for the team, and he did so in Jackson with at least 150 other players. Only he and 14 others made the team.
Gray said after the tryouts, the Mississippi team and the Louisiana teams were combined and only the top 10 players traveled to Ohio to compete for a week against 36 other teams from around the country. Gray’s team finished third overall.
“It was a positive experience for me. My shot improved and I got quicker because I was not playing against the same people,” Gray said.
Off the court Gray said he enjoys spending his time hunting for deer, fishing and playing football or baseball.
Right now, Gray said he is unsure of his college plans, but added that he could see himself as a coach or an accountant in the future.
“I want to be a coach because I love being around the game of basketball,” Gray said. “I want to be an accountant because I love math.”
Gray said while math is his favorite subject, he also enjoys English and Spanish as well.
While nothing is set in stone regarding Gray’s playing future, Arnold said he has the ability to reach the next level.
“On this level you have athletes that play basketball, and you have Juan, who is a basketball player,” Arnold said. “ I truly believe he will be playing after high school, it’s just a question of on which level.”