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Lady Rocket inks with Marshall

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By Todd Martin

Raechele Gray put the rumors to rest Monday in a ceremony at SCHS the senior point guard signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Marshall University.

Gray said she took advantage of the early signing period so she could focus on the upcoming basketball season.

"I just wanted to get the decision off my shoulders so I can concentrate on the season," she said. "Now that I got the stress off, I can be a leader for this team."

SCHS head coach Sally Zimmerman said that Gray has no doubt earned her scholarship.

"She's earned the right to play Division I basketball," the coach said. "She's the most coachable kid I've ever had. She's the total package you look for as a coach -- she's got the skills, the talent and the passion. Every time she steps on the court she plays to her maximum effort. That's what makes her so good. When you see her in practice, that's exactly what you get in the game. She's going to will us to win a lot of games this year."

Gray has averaged about 15 points over her career at SCHS, and Zimmerman said that's not all she can do.

"She led us in points, assists and steals last year, and she can rebound," she said. "I don't want her to be near the top in rebounds for us this year because we need her out running the break, but she could be a top rebounder for us if we needed her to -- she's a tremendous leaper."

Gray has had plenty of highlights in her career, including six three-pointers in the first quarter against Anderson County in the district tournament, but she's got several goals left for this season.

"I just want to keep this team together and play my heart out all year," she said. "If we can get the chemistry together on this team and do our thing then we can get back to state for the third year in a row. That would be school history -- no team has gone three years in a row. We're here to make history this year."

Zimmerman also noted that Gray could make a bit of her own history this year.

"She's got a chance to climb into the top five all-time scorers at Shelby County this year," the coach said. "And, depending on how far we go and how well she shoots it, she could move up to No. 2. But she doesn't care about that stuff unless it helps her team win."

Zimmerman also said that Gray's transition to college will be a smooth one.

"She's prepared herself with academics, but athletics just happens to be paying the way," Zimmerman said. "She's going to make that transition to college an easy one because she knows that academics are important and she's going to give it everything she's got on the court, too."

Gray said she hopes to make an impact on the basketball team as a freshman.

"I think I can," she said. "With the way Marshall's program is, everybody gets a chance. I just have to work hard and show them what I can do."