Ready for the next step

Will Gray, far right, stands with his father, Monty, and brother, David.

Ready for the next step
April 07
12:39 2021

The boys’ basketball team at East Forsyth High School is attempting to return to the glory days of old. One of the major contributors to this effort is sophomore sensation Will Gray.  

Gray averaged 16.5 ppg. last season and was voted onto the Central Piedmont 4A All-Conference Team. Although the Eagles finished with a 7-5 record, things are looking up for East. As the son of head coach and former East Forsyth standout basketball player, Monty Gray, Gray has been around basketball as long as he can remember.

“My dad has coached at so many schools, I can’t even keep count, but he would always bring me to the school he was coaching at and I would be in the gym watching or running around just always being there,” said Gray about how he got into the game of basketball.

Gray says the transition from middle school basketball to high school basketball was a tough one for him. He played his freshman season at Forsyth Country Day School and said he learned a lot playing on both the JV and varsity levels that season.  

With his first full varsity season under his belt, Gray feels he is ready to take the next step in his game.

“This first year on varsity was pretty good,” he said.  “I made all-conference and it was a transition, but I think I handled it well.”

Making the all-conference team was a great accomplishment, said Gray. He still feels there is more work to be done with his game to become an even better teammate. His biggest thing to work on this offseason is his mid-range shot.

“It felt good and I felt fortunate and blessed enough for them to recognize me for what I did through every game we played,” he said about making the all-conference team. “I do know there is more work to do, but I felt very good about being recognized.”

Gray is a capable scorer, but feels he makes the biggest impact on defense. He takes pride in shutting down his opponent and has a knack for getting steals.

“Honestly, I think my defensive part of the game is very strong, I love playing defense,” he continued.  “The way I steal the ball is very high level and I don’t get tired out there. I actually played all games for most of the season.”

At 6’2, Gray is a good height for a guard in today’s game. Last season he was a combo guard, playing both the point and shooting guard positions.  

“Honestly, at the beginning of the season, I played the point and had to facilitate more,” he said. “But towards the end of the season, I was looking to score more and I kind of was successful with that, so I would say I like playing the two-guard position more, but if I ever need to play the point guard position, it doesn’t come hard to me. It’s just different roles.”

Coming into the season, Coach Gray wanted to see growth from not only Will, but from all his players, he said.  

“The one thing we know is the only way we can get better is if we’re working,” said Coach Gray.  “This is the time we have to get better, so we are eager to get back into the gym.  

“Will is still going to have to improve his ability to be a point guard and facilitate even better. This is a role he has had in the past, but he has to stay at it. The fact he is playing on this national AAU team is going to hopefully give him the experience he needs, because he is going against a lot of great players from around the country. I just need him to improve, stay hungry, stay hungry and keep doing what he is doing, because we can’t let up on the gas at all.”

Gray had not played AAU basketball in the past three seasons due to him wanting to work certain aspects of his game. He currently plays for Team Curry out of Charlotte.

Coach Gray said he was not surprised by the stellar play of his son last season. Due to the work ethic Gray has, Coach Gray says he does not have to do much to motivate his son to compete at a high level and give it his all.

“If you know Will, Will is a different kid,” Coach Gray said about his son. “Sometimes as a dad, you get wrapped up in being a dad and a coach, but Will plays hard and that’s something I don’t have to motivate him to do.  

“I wasn’t surprised because I know what it means to him to get out there and compete. It makes me feel special that I have a son that can play at that level. I want him to continue to improve, so I try to keep him as humble as possible.”

For Coach Gray, having his son make the all-conference team is even more special because he also made the all-conference team when he was playing for the Eagles. Coach Gray says it creates a lot of good-natured conversations about who is the better player between the two of them.

“We talk a little junk in the house about who is the better East basketball player, but all around it is great for everybody and I think he wants to continue to do more things after this season as he gets ready to play college ball,” said Coach Gray.

Coach Gray said at this point, he was the better shooter than both of his sons at their age, but admits they are both more skilled all around than he was at their respective ages.

“Once they continue to keep growing and improving that jump shot and their mid-range, they will exceed me and go much further than I did,” said Coach Gray about his sons. “They are definitely going to be better than their dad and I’m proud of that and they should be.”

Gray has more goals to accomplish before he leaves East Forsyth. He appreciates the individual accolades, but would prefer team success because of the hard work he and his teammates have put in together.

“I would like to get the 1,000-point ball and so I want to progress on our record,” said Gray. “We went like 5-21 before I got here and now that I am here, we went 7-5 and I feel like that was a huge accomplishment. I want to get an even better record next year. I just want every aspect to be better before I graduate and be better as a team in every way.”

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors