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Gray blazes trail at Parklane

McCOMB — In his first year as Parklane Academy’s varsity boyshead basketball coach, Ricky Gray had a remarkable season. Gray’sPioneers finished the 2005-06 campaign 25-7. Parklane won itsdistrict, South State AAA before falling to Delta in the secondround of the Overall State.

For his accomplishment, Gray has been selected The DAILYLEADER’S Coach of the Year on the 2006 All-Area Boys BasketballTeam.

“It’s a special thing,” said Gray of being named Coach of theYear. “Great players made this happen. God gets the glory, notme.”

In the Overall, Parklane fell to Delta 51-46 in thequarterfinals. Parklane whipped Leake 72-57 in the opener.

“The Lord blessed us,” smiled Gray of his players. “We are arunning club. It was hard for people to match up. Teams that beatus had to slow the game down.

“When you have a shot blocker that can run the floor like Tyler(Cunningham), it causes people matchup problems,” said Gray.

His father, John R. Gray (ACCS) and his younger brother, Barry(Brookhaven Academy)_ also coach an up-tempo style ofbasketball.

“We are going to run down and shoot it,” continued Gray. “We(Dad and Barry) enjoy that style of basketball. We enjoy the game.I am real proud of Dad and the teams he coached.”

Gray came to Parklane from Enterprise where he coached for theprevious two year. “Two of the best years I spent were atEnterprise,” stated Gray.

Parklane offered Gray at chance to get into administration andremain coaching.

He is the eldest son of John and Marie Gray. He has a youngerbrother Barry who is athletic director and girls head basketballcoach at Brookhaven Academy. His father served as headmaster, headfootball coach and head boys basketball coach for several years atBA.

John Gray was named to the Sports Hall of Fame at HindsCommunity College and Mississippi College in basketball andbaseball. For the past several years, he has been headmaster andgirls basketball coach at ACCS.

“Daddy is the cog that makes it go,” smiled Gray. “We have beenblessed.”

Gray, 46, is a graduate of Brookhaven Academy where he playedunder his father. He earned his BS degree at SouthernMississippi.

Gray’s first job was serving as coach at Wilkinson CountyChristian Academy in Woodville for 9 years. He helped coach allsports, including football, basketball and baseball.

The next five years, Gray returned to Brookhaven Academy andcoached the boys basketball team. After Brookhaven, Gray coached atHillcrest Christian, Indianola, Adams County Christian School andEnterprise.

At Parklane, Gray serves as Middle School Dean and coaches thejunior high and varsity boys basketball teams. He teaches physicalscience.

Gray and his wife Gail have been married 16 years and are theparents of two children, John, age 10, and Mary Katharine, age 21months. Gail is a nurse at King Daughter’s Medical Center.

They are members of Fair River Baptist Church.

Gray said that between Barry and his dad, they have nearly 1800wins as a family.

One of this year’s highlights was coaching the South All-Starswith his father. One of the players on the team was Barry’s son,Alan, who got to play under his uncle in his final high schoolbasketball game.