At a press conference earlier today at Washington Prep High School, Reshanda Gray - the twenty-second-ranked player in the 2011 class - named Cal as her college choice. The announcement ended months of speculation on where Gray would go - especially since last week, when she named USC as her second finalist.
"Too Tall" Gray's teammate Danielle Brown, who has written in this space before as an aspiring journalist, interviewed Gray today at lunch. She also provided pictures, below.
DB: Today is the BIG Day. Today is the day where you tell the world where you plan on attending school next fall. What's going on in your head?
Reshanda: That I'm finally going to get a heavy load off my shoulders.
DB: Did you ever think that you were going to college on a basketball scholarship?
Reshanda: No, not in a million years (laughs).
DB: So you you chose Cal Berkeley, but USC is right up the street from you and you'd be closer to your family and friends there, so why not stay home???
Reshanda: I have lived in Los Angeles all my life, and it's time for a change. I feel like if I had went to USC I wouldn't be as independent as I want to be, but if I go to Cal it will force me to be independent and also grow up more.
DB: What is going to be the most difficult part in transitioning from Southern California to Northern California?
Reshanda: It won't really be a big transistion in my eyes, but if I had to say, it will be that I can't drive up the street to see my family.
DB: What are most looking forward to in college?
Reshanda: (laughs) making new friend and enjoying the college experience.
DB: What are you going to miss most about L.A.?
Reshanda: im going to miss my friends, family, and coaches.
DB: In five years when you're fresh out of college, what do you see yourself doing?
Reshanda: Playing professional basketball.
DB: What do you hope to accomplish as a Bear?
Reshanda: Winning a National Championship!
DB: At Washington Prep High School you played J.V. in your freshman year, and have successfully played Varsity for three years. How haas the coaching staff there prepared you for college ball?
Reshanda: Freshman year they just broke me down, taught me about the "fundamentals" of basketball. They perpared me for my upcoming years. They always have motivated me, and always told me "how much I put out, is how much I'm going to get back."
DB:What do you hope to accomplish in you last year of high school?
Reshanda: Winning a City Championship, and going far in the state tourney. WE can do it!
DB: What do you want to major in in college?
Reshanda: Well, I havent decided that yet.
Reshanda Quote: Thank you everyone who has supported me and had my back through out this process. Love you all.
Reshanda "TooTall" Gray #21(:
Gray stands next to a sign at her press conference today.
Gray and her Washington Prep Coach, Ricky Blackmon.
Danielle certainly has a bright future ahead of her as an interviewer and writer.
The Los Angeles Wave has a nice story on today's events.
Their pictorial slideshow is great.
Gray will bring much to Cal, says ESPN.
On a personal note, I remember Gray as a freshman on Prep's JV team, when she didn't stand out much except for her height. I clearly recall, in seeing Prep's first home game of the season of her sophomore year, how surprised I was at her improvement. After that, Gray's talent level multiplied exponentially almost every month, and she quickly rose to basketball stardom.
When she walked on to the site of her club ball team's end of the summer picnic two months ago, I was struck by how grown up she looked. Too Tall is becoming a young woman, and it's always gratifying to see that transformation in a young person.
Congratulations, Reshanda. You've made so many of us proud.
Gray pauses during a volleyball game at her club ball team's end of the year picnic in September.....not looking as much like a kid anymore.