By John "Woods" Armwood III
The Oregon University commit, Chance Gray, was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. However, Gray now resides in West Chester, Ohio. The Ohio native began picking up a basketball at the age of four. Gray comes from a bloodline of bonified ballers. Therefore, there's no surprise that she found her way on a similar path.
In fact, her older sister, Amber Gray, was an absolute phenom throughout high school. She later went on to play for the University of Tennessee and was coached by the legend Pat Summitt. Gray’s father, Carlton Gray, also was around basketball the majority of his life, he coached AAU and is currently a full-time trainer. All three favorite player is Kobe Bryant, however, Gray admits she models a ton of her game off Stephen Curry due to their playstyles. It’s safe to say, she’s been being groomed to be one hell of a basketball player since she can walk.
However, being around greatness helped her propel her game significantly. So much so, that she became the No. 7 ranked girl basketball player in the country, according to ESPN. In so many words, she had the luxury to be able to play for any school in the country. Her two remaining schools were UCLA and Oregon, however, there seemed to be one big differential between both amazing programs. Gray spoke highly of her current HC Andy Fishman and his coaching staff helping her develop into the star she’s become. In fact, according to ABC Cincinnati, Gray stated:
“So I feel like coach Fishman and other coaches in the program have helped me develop and I still have a lot of growing to do."
The Determining Factor on Gray's Commitment
Throughout the interview, Gray explained how big the impact Oregon’s HC Kelly Graves has on her. The genuineness of Coach Graves helped make one of the biggest decisions of Gray’s life that much easier. She explains her excitement about the endless possibilities and the lifelong relationship she’s looking forward to building with Graves and the organizations.
“Honestly, it was pretty much the deciding factor,” stated Gray. “Grave’s a great coach on and off the court, he’s so down to earth. I felt I can go to him with anything basketball or non-basketball-related.”
How Does Chance Gray Balance her Social Life and Basketball?
Gray being a highly recruited high school athlete has left her with very little time to herself. Not to mention, being as decorated as much as she is (McDonald’s All-American and Gatorade POTY) also only makes it harder to have a traditional high school teenager life. However, she admits she rarely has time to hang out with her friends and have fun. Instead, she makes relationships within the spaces she is in. This means that many of her closest friends are athletes and other basketball players that can relate to her lifestyle and are on similar schedules.
“I would say it’s harder to stay focused because I have friends with much more freedom than I do,” passionately states Gray. “I’ve realized I had to make sacrifices and I can’t live the double life. However, I’m learning how to manage my time better. The hardest thing to do is remain focused and not lose myself trying to live a teenage life”
At the McDonald’s All-American game, in Chicago, she had the privilege to play with some of the best girl basketball players in the nation. One of them is, Duke commit Ashlon Jackson, who grew to like each other as the camp went on. Gray admits she was nervous during the initial meeting not understanding how many of the girls would act. Yet, these girls grew closer as camp went on and she made some lifelong friends and had great experiences.
There’s never a bigger smile you’ll see when I’m not surrounded by people who value something on the same level I do. Basketball brings out a certain light in me that is unexplainable. It’s become my escape for so many reasons and I wouldn’t be who I am without it. pic.twitter.com/cFhKMUF3Nt— chance gray (@chancegrayy) April 7, 2022
When Chance Felt She Arrived
Gray’s standout moment when asked about her “Sh3GotGame” moment was a moment she shared with her father during one of her AAU games. In one game, Gray had it going early and finished the game with 32 points. Years later, her father asked her, “ At what point did you know you’d be good?”
She responded, “I knew after that AAU game I dropped 32 points in.”
Gray spoke about that conversation with her father in great detail. In fact, she mentioned very rarely does she ever get time to reflect and acknowledge her accomplishments and accolades. Gray’s been plagued with tunnel vision, she expounds on the matter.
“I believe I’ve never taken the time to sit back and think about them,” stated Gray. “Honestly, the way my mind is programmed I don’t believe I can. I am always thinking to myself, ‘What’s next?’”
When it’s all said and done Gray plans to leave a legacy that’s unmatched. She would like to be known for who she is on the court, however, she’d like to be more known for changing the game of women's sports forever. She can care less about how she changes the game, whether it’s on the court or not.
The Game of Basketball Changing Chance Gray’s Life Forever
In conclusion, Gray explains in great detail how the game of basketball has helped mold the person she’s become today. Without the game of basketball, Gray doesn’t know what her life would be like. She explains how grateful she is for the relationships she’s made and for the opportunities that have helped stem from her play.
While she prepares for the bigger picture, she’d prefer to stay in the moment at hand and build her future through the game. When asked is there any advice she’d like to leave any younger girls and boys that may resonate with her journey, she responds:
“My biggest thing would be to focus on you and your life. Always be a true student-athlete and you have to be what you want people to see you as starting now, not later.”