More than 10 years after leading Bainbridge High School on a storybook run to the 3A state title game, Steven Gray is still going strong. Now 29, Gray is in his eighth season of professional basketball, currently playing for GS Peristeri in Greece.
Gray, a 6-5 shooting guard, was a force for Bainbridge during his senior year in 2007, leading the Spartans to the state championship game for the first time since 1955. He was named the state player of the year by the Associated Press and the Seattle Times.
Gray went on to enjoy a productive 4-year career at Gonzaga, averaging 11.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists and twice being named first team All-West Coast Conference.
I recently caught up with Gray and asked him six questions.
What is your best high school basketball memory?
The two trips to the state tournament. First as a sophomore with Chimacum in the SunDome in Yakima. I remember reading about how we were picked as “dark horses” in the tournament and we ended up making it to the semifinals and ended up placing 6th. Then as a senior with Bainbridge making it to the title game but unfortunately losing to O’Dea.
What impact did your high school coach have on you?
The greatest thing coach Scott Orness stressed on us was the value of the relationships we were creating with our teammates and how they would be lifelong friends. We all got together a few summers ago to catch up and reminisce about what a special year that was for us.
Who is the best player you faced in high school?
The easy answer would be Spencer Hawes. But Chris Banchero from O’Dea always was a tough matchup.
Do you have any advice for today’s high school players?
Enjoy it. There is nothing like going to school and competing on the court with your friends. It’s a unique opportunity to represent your school, your classmates, the players before you and those to come. High school basketball is a special time and it goes fast. So go out compete and have fun.
What is your opinion about AAU and high school sports (recruiting process in general)?
I think AAU has a lot of benefits if done the right way. It’s an opportunity to play with and against better competition. It has the potential to raise the quality of basketball being played. It would be ideal if there was more cooperation between AAU and HS basketball instead of being competing entities.
What was your favorite high school gym and rivalry?
My favorite high school gym without a doubt is Chimacum, the ultimate shooters gym. The rivalry between Bainbridge and O’Dea while I was there was pretty intense. But there is something special when you talk about small town rivalries. That’s why I love the Chimacum vs. Port Townsend rivalry.
Gray’s playing background:
Chimacum HS 2003-2005
Bainbridge Island HS 2005-2007
Gonzaga University 2007-2011
BK Ventspils (Latvia) 2011-12
Chorale Roanne (France) 2012-13
BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque (France) 2013-14
JDA Dijon (France) 2014-15
BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque (France) 2015-16
Lavrio (Greece) 2016-2018
Zadar (Croatia) 2018
GS Peristeri (Greece) present