Former Gonzaga standout Steven Gray retires from professional ball to turn out to be AD at Muckleshoot Tribal School


Steven Gray was so sure he would return for one more skilled basketball season in Greece that he left lots of his belongings at his in-season house.

That was nonetheless Gray’s intention when he went on trip this summer time. The former Gonzaga standout guard had thrown his identify in for the athletic director place at Muckleshoot Tribal School in Auburn, however he didn’t suppose he had a lot of an opportunity.

In reality, Gray was planning on taking part in one other three years. He was placing up good numbers and presents stored coming, however his mindset started to alter when his group in Greece modified the teaching workers. He knew he’d be strolling into a brand new scenario.

“My wife has been the curriculum director at the tribal school since COVID started. They asked her, ‘Is Steven going to be retiring?’ “ Gray recalled. “The job posting was still open and they still didn’t have anyone that was more qualified so I put my name in. So I finished working out, it was July and we were going on vacation.

“They set up a (Zoom) interview while I was in Cabo. On Friday, the day before we left, I had an unofficial offer. In a week of vacation, I’d gone from training for going back (to Greece) to all done. It was crazy how it all went down.”

It would get crazier. Within a number of weeks, Gray was the one conducting interviews — of potential coaches — and logging lengthy hours to be taught the job on the fly. His wide-ranging duties embrace scheduling, establishing venues for video games and dealing with student-athlete points.

Gray, 33, was nervous when he advised the group president, who was on his résumé as a reference for the A.D. job, and his agent that he was retiring. He needed to inform his dad {that a} deliberate journey to go to his son in Greece wasn’t going to occur.

“All these things we’d planned, I had to go back on,” stated Gray, a two-time All-WCC first-team choice who scored 1,432 profession factors from 2008-11, No. 21 on this system’s all-time checklist. “My dad told me, ‘What is three years of basketball if you can walk into something you want to do and can have an impact.’ “

The former Zag shares the same perspective. Gray, who is Afro-Indigenous and a member of the Nooksack Tribe, felt the A.D. appointment “was meant to be.”

“I thought I wanted to do something in athletics and basketball,” Gray stated. “I wanted to build some youth basketball programs for the tribes in the area because I felt like it was a missed opportunity when I was at Gonzaga, being a voice for the Indigenous community.

“When this popped up, I thought, ‘This is pretty close,’ and I’d have a lot of responsibility. It’s a little weird (being on the administrative side), but the fact that I’m around these kids that are just starting their journey in athletics … I’m trying to make this the best possible experience.”

Gray stated most of his experiences abroad had been nice. He was significantly keen on his time in Greece. He knew the world nicely sufficient to drive again roads to observe. He introduced U.S. teammates to the seashore to unwind after two-a-day practices. His daughter Bailee, who simply turned 8, is fluent in Greek.

“It’s my favorite place,” he stated.

Gray performed at Chimacum and Bainbridge excessive colleges. He led Bainbridge to a runner-up end within the Class 3A state match as a senior in 2007. He’s No. 5 on the state’s boys all-time scoring checklist.

Gray can’t keep in mind the final time he wasn’t taking part in basketball presently of yr, however guessed it was elementary faculty.

“I’m going to miss it,” he stated, “but there’s so much energy to put elsewhere.”


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