Argyle’s Vivian Gray could have gone anywhere to play college basketball. She just redefined anywhere.
Gray, one of the nation’s most coveted high school basketball recruits, whose suitors include Texas, Baylor, Rice, Oklahoma State and others, confirmed Tuesday she will sign this afternoon with Fort Lewis College — a Division II program in Durango, Colorado — on the first day of the early signing period.
Gray said she had narrowed her decision to Fort Lewis and OSU.
“I excel in basketball when I am in my comfort zone,” Gray said. “[The Division I offers] are flattering, and I worked hard for them. But it’s not my personality to be at a big school. This is the best choice.”
Gray said her decision also was family-based. She plans on running track and will instantly be a marquee player for the same basketball program as former teammates Delaney Sain and big sister Olivia Gray.
The Grays spend considerable time vacationing in that area, and Vivian’s mother, Lisa, also went to school at Fort Lewis. Vivian is a small-town girl who wants to play basketball and be with her family.
But it’s still a surprise move for an athlete many say could be a game changer at the Division I level. With her senior season still in front of her, the 6-1 forward already has led the Lady Eagles to two Class 4A titles and three state tournament appearances.
Gray is ranked as the No. 7 forward in the nation in her class by ESPN’s HoopGurlz.
As a junior, she averaged 22.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game. A year earlier, she scored 36 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in the state semifinals.
In six state tournament games, Gray has averaged 20.3 points and 8.3 rebounds.
“She’s had a lot of Division I offers and she could play at that level. But Vivian is a family person,” Argyle coach Skip Townsend said. “[Fort Lewis] is where family is at, and that’s where she’s going to feel most comfortable. That school is very fortunate to get a player of her caliber.”
Gray is one of three Argyle basketball players signing today. Madison Ralston is expected to sign with Emporia State, and Jocelyn Pierce is signing with Texas A&M-Commerce.
“I’m very excited to have this all over with,” Gray said. “The recruiting process was very stressful for me. Fort Lewis is like my second home, and there’s a comfort level there.”