25 February 2023: Pearland Oilers power forward RyLee Grays (22) drives to the basket
25 February 2023: Pearland Oilers power forward RyLee Grays (22) drives to the basket Credit: Jimmie Aggison/Houston Defender

Power forward RyLee Grays has continuously proven to be a phenomenal basketball player for Pearland High School. As a junior in 2021-22, Grays averaged 17.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.4 assists per game. Her senior year has been just as amazing.

Averaging 16.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.5 assists per game, Grays’ contributions to the team has led them to go undefeated in 6A Region III District 23, and contend for a State title in the 2022-23 season. Head varsity coach Jeré Adams said, “Riley has been awesome to have in our program this year. We are super excited about her future, watching her this year work hard, work on mentoring our young post players and just being an all-around good leader.”

Coming from a basketball family, Grays began her competitive basketball journey early. In third grade, she played with the Pearl Hawks. She would then go on to play with Texas Dynasty where she played until seventh grade. After Texas Dynasty she joined Cy-Fair Elite. When asked why she dedicated herself to just 3 teams in her basketball journey as opposed to playing with a different team each summer Grays said, “Staying in the same organization was really important to me because I’m a relationship person, building those bonds with the girls and being able to play at a competitive level was really important to me.”

Playing with talents like Janiah Barker and Aaliyah Moore who currently play for Texas A&M and the University of Texas, respectively, Grays attributes playing AAU competitively early as helping to make her transition to the varsity ball easier.

“I didn’t have the kind of freshman panic as much. I felt like I’ve played at a high level before, so it wasn’t as nerve-wracking,” said Grays, a four-year varsity player. “I think the transition was a lot easier in the sense of varsity is really fast, but AAU is also really fast, so I don’t think it was that much of a jump.”

With Grays developing her game year after year, several major college programs began to take notice. However, it would be the University of North Carolina that would be chosen as Grays’ next basketball destination.

“I visited North Carolina and I just loved the state. It was beautiful up there; nice weather, great campus. I’m really excited about their programs. They have a really good communications program that I’m looking into going to,” she said.

When asked what direction she would like to take her communication degree, Grays mentioned broadcast journalism.

“I kind of want to stay with the sports side, I’m thinking just because it’s something that I’ve always grown up around and I really enjoy watching basketball and I feel like it’s something that I could enjoy doing forever.”

Grays is a player with a strong work ethic from a good family who has good energy and knows how to be a good teammate. When asked what is the University of North Carolina getting in a player like Grays, Coach Jeré said, “They’re getting a prize.”

Class: 2023

IG: @rylee_grays22

Twitter: @DunkingBeauty

Measurements: 6-feet-3, 190 pounds

Players she studies: Janiah Barker (Texas A&M), Aaliyah Moore (University Of Texas), Candace Parker (Las Vegas Aces)

Status: Committed to the University of North Carolina

Favorite artists: Brent Faiyaz, Drake

Favorite subject in school: Math

Hobbies: Knitting & crocheting

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