October 26, 2012 in High School
Keith Gray has been a part of Flint basketball at arguably its peak in the 1980s. He played at Flint Central with Eric Turner, who many in Flint still insist is the best basketball talent the city has ever produced before going on to excel at the University of Detroit and professionally overseas.
Now Gray is back in Flint as the newly named coach at Flint Southwestern, taking over when city basketball is at arguably its lowest point. Via Eric Woodyard of the Flint Journal, Gray has the right mentality as to what it takes to get basketball in Flint back on the right track:
“It’s going to take a little bit more than me, but I’m trying to bring back some of the fundamentals that’s been lost in basketball,” Gray said. “You don’t see the little things being done.
“Everybody just wants to do the spectacular, but if I can bring back some fundamentals and basic basketball, it probably won’t be attractive, but some of these kids will have the chance to excel at the higher level.”
Part of the issue in the city in recent years has been coaching stability and burnout. Taking a job at a city school is more than just coaching basketball. There are numerous issues — a district that has major budget problems, transfers, academic problems that often result in some of the best athletes in the school never seeing the court and off-court poverty and violence that make it hard to keep track of the environments kids are subjected to when they are not in school or practicing. It’s an incredibly tough job, but also one that is sorely needed. Hopefully Gray is up for all of the challenges ahead.