Dee Gray, a 5’8 senior guard-forward for the Francis Marion University (FMU) women’s basketball team, has been a defensive force for the Lady Patriots this season.
A transfer from Winthrop University, Gray leads her team in rebounds per game with 7.4 and ranks in the top ten in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) in three different categories: defensive rebounds, total rebounds and rebounds per game.
Gray started playing basketball in the third grade. A Chicago, Ill. native, Gray attended Saint Joseph High School where she began to see a collegiate basketball career in her future.
“Once I started getting recognition from colleges my freshman year playing, I started taking ball more serious,” Gray said. “Then I learned I could use ball to pay for [my] furthering my education.”
During her high school career, Gray was named Most Valuable Player three times and was the leading rebounder her senior year, her first season as a post player. Gray earned All-State honors after averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a senior and finished as the program’s all-time leading scorer with more than 1,200 total points.
Upon graduating high school, Gray was heavily sought out by many Division I universities, including Western Michigan, Loyola, Western Illinois and Northern Illinois. She committed to Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., where she played for two years and was then released and picked up by FMU.
Head coach Kate Glusko said Gray brings a variety of attributes to the Lady Patriot squad.
“I have had the pleasure of coaching Dee for the past two years,” Glusko said. “She is a fantastic rebounder and scorer and provides our team with her senior leadership.”
During her first season as a Patriot, Gray led the team in both rebounds (159) and steals (40). She posted four double-doubles, and scored double digits in 13 games, including a career-high 20 points against PBC opponent Lander University.
As a senior, Gray has put up double digits in 12 of the Patriots 18 games so far this season, including five double-doubles. In her final season for FMU, Gray hopes to win a conference championship and make a run for the NCAA tournament.
Gray, a psychology major, has dreams to continue her athletic career and play professional basketball overseas.
“[Gray] is always willing to put in the extra work to continue to improve her skills and game,” Glusko said. “I can always count on Dee to consistently bring a strong work ethic and desire to win.”