Will Gray of East Forsyth chooses UNC-Pembroke

Gray chose the Braves over several other colleges that were recruiting him

Will Gray of East Forsyth chooses UNC-Pembroke
December 02
10:27 2022

East Forsyth guard Will Gray garnered a lot of attention last year with his play on the court, which included conference player of the year. Because of his stellar play, it warranted a lot of attention from the next level and after much deliberation, Gray has decided to attend the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to play basketball.

“There were five colleges that really wanted me in total and I visited four of them. What made me choose UNC-Pembroke was that it was close to home, and it allowed me to stay close to my parents if they ever needed anything,” Gray said about why he chose the Braves.

“I liked what UNCP had to offer for me, other than the basketball court. They also had my major, which is a plus because my education is very important to me. I just like the whole vibe and feel of the school.”

Gray says he liked what the coaches at UNC-Pembroke had to offer him. He also appreciated their honesty regarding his career.

“After talking with the coaches at UNCP, they just let me know how they felt about me,” he said. “They gave me the real. They told me I could be a big-time player at their school, and I could develop as an overseas professional player. They wanted me to know that they are on my side and they are rooting for me.”

Gray has always been an extremely athletic player on the court. Over the last couple of years, he has been intentional about developing his skill set to make him a more dynamic player.

“Two years ago, I was not very confident. My sophomore year, I probably had the least amount of confidence I ever had playing basketball,” he said. “I just picked it up after that AAU season. I won the 16U national championship with Team Curry, after that my confidence just shot up and I just started working on things I needed to work on. That’s where it all came from, just going through adversity for real.”

Gray had a great junior season last year. He credits his time with Team Curry and his rise in confidence as the major reasons why.

“When I got with Team Curry, they just let me know who I am,” he continued. “They recruited me to come play with them, with the top players in the state. They just helped me. All that eagerness to get back to where I was, filled on into my junior year and that’s why I ended up having a successful junior year.”

East Forsyth lost to Myers Park in the second round of last year’s playoffs by the score of 73-48. The Eagles lost some players from last year’s team and have some new additions as well. Gray feels they can have good success this year and possibly be championship contenders.

“I feel like we can definitely get past what we did last year,” he said about his expectations for this year. “The practices that we’ve been having, they haven’t been the easiest practices, I would say. The new players are helping us tremendously. They got here in August and they have just been with us ever since. They have been helping us a lot.”

Gray continued to work on his game this offseason to put his team in better position for a deeper playoff run. As a senior leader on the team, he knows he has to lead by example.

“I think I worked on being more of a team player, I would say,” Gray said about his offseason focus. “Last year, there would be times where I would get wrapped up in how much I needed to drop, how much I needed to pass, how much I needed to do things. I feel like I was more self-oriented last year. I felt like I worked on getting everyone involved this offseason.”

There are some lofty goals Gray has on his mind for this season. He would like to repeat as conference champions, win the Frank Spencer tournament, have a better record than last year, and hopefully compete for a state championship.

As one of the best players in the county, Gray’s name is frequently mentioned when people talk about the best players in Forsyth County.

“I am honestly thankful for it, because not too long ago, I was a freshman and I had a lot of gray areas in my game just playing against older players,” said Gray. “But now as a senior, I am getting recognition from around the city and I am pretty much humbled by it. There was a time where I wasn’t recognized and now that I am recognized, all I can be is thankful and enjoy the support.”

Once he arrives on the campus of UNCP, Gray says he knows he will have to work his way up the depth chart initially. He wants the coaches to know he is a hard worker that will do anything necessary to gain playing time.

“I want to let my game speak for itself my freshman year,” he said. “I don’t want to be an undisciplined freshman that’s just going to take every shot and do what they don’t want me to do out there. I want to let them know I am coachable, and I will be there ready to do whatever they ask for.”

Gray says he is thankful for his time at East Forsyth and the connections he has made over the last two years. The fact he can play for his father and have his brother on the team, it has been a blessing, he said. He is just ready to leave everything he has on the court this season and has left a lasting legacy with the Eagles program.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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