College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

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Athlete of the Week: John Gray III

An exclusive interview with John Gray III whose performance on the men’s basketball team earned him a spot for Athlete of the Week.
Photo provided by COD Athletics

Name: John Gray III

Sport: Basketball

Position: Guard

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Milwaukee

High School: Waukesha South


Lily Goodfellow: When did you start playing basketball?

John Gray: I first started playing basketball when I was in fifth grade.


LG: What is your favorite part about playing basketball?

JG: My favorite part about playing basketball is just the whole experience. I love the game. I’ve been through a lot with the game and I just love embracing every moment – the good and the bad.


LG: How did you come to play for College of DuPage?

JG: This experience has been so great, honestly. I went to a different school last year, and I played for a really good head coach. He ended up getting let go, and out of respect for him, I felt like I needed to find somewhere else to go. He suggested COD. He said he knew Coach Kuhn, and he wanted to make sure I was in the best possible situation. I feel like I made the best choice. The things this team has done are just unheard of at the junior college level. Coach Kaiser takes really good care of us. You couldn’t ask to be anywhere better than COD for junior college.


LG: What are your greatest accomplishments in basketball?

JG: My greatest accomplishment was probably moving down to Florida and playing prep school basketball after I graduated high school. That was a big accomplishment for me. It was a big risk, but it did pay off. 


LG: How did you end up going to play in Florida?

JG: That was actually just me looking on Twitter and texting coaches after my senior year, seeing what was the best place I could go. I found Coach Stanley from Florida Sports Academy, and he took me in. It wasn’t easy. It was a little different being down there all alone. Then I ended up meeting someone who was from Wisconsin, Jayden, and he’s like my best friend now. We even ended up playing at Elgin Community College together last year too. 


LG: Have you ever had to deal with any injuries or overcome any significant setbacks?

JG: Yeah, I’ve overcome a lot actually. COVID-19 happened when I was in high school, and I broke my wrist, so I kind of missed my whole junior year. That set me back a lot. Then I transferred to a different school for my senior year. It was different, and I felt a little behind.


LG: Do you play any other sports?

JG: No, not at the moment. It’s pretty much just always been basketball. I tried to focus. I really didn’t start being more consistent until about my junior year, which probably held me back. But it’s always been basketball.


LG: Who are some of your role models in sports or otherwise?

JG: I’m a big fan of Lebron James. But, my dad and probably my uncle, those are the two biggest role models in my life. They show me what it takes to be a man.


LG: Where do you see yourself in five years?

JG: In five years I see myself having graduated from college and playing professionally, whether it’s overseas or in the G league [the official minor league organization of the NBA], anything or anywhere. So, I will have graduated in business marketing and playing professional ball.


LG: What is your idea of a perfect weekend?

JG: I would say going out to eat with my friends and teammates. Having a good meal. That’s tough. That’s a good question. I’ve never had that question. Probably hanging with my teammates and my friends for the weekend. Just being around them makes everything fun. 


LG: What one word best describes you?

JG: I would say persistence.


LG: Thank you very much, John!

JG: Thank you!

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