It may be cooling down with another harsh Minnesota winter rapidly approaching, but the basketball scene in the northern state is about to heat up. One player primed to have a big year and continue his rise up the rankings is 2021 Combination Guard, Andre Gray II (Hopkins H.S. – Minnetonka, MN) who competed at a high level with Gain Elite this past spring/summer AAU season, and now is putting himself in position to garner more and more looks from colleges.

Gray II expanded his game this year, becoming a more well-rounded guard and playing multiple positions for his team. At 6’2” and 180-pounds, the skilled sophomore guard has a nice frame and good athletic ability to make himself a strong force on the perimeter and capable of pushing through contact in traffic. The Hopkins product took on the challenge in front of him and really thrived in his role with his team and when facing up against some of the top players in his class on the circuit. Now, he’ll look to heat up during the school season. According to Gray II, that all starts with his team-first mentality in which his goals start with building relationships with his teammates and coaches, then more individually based he says he wants to “be more vocal, work to become the top guard in the state, and help my team win a state title.”

Now standing 6’2”, Gray II looks the part of a skilled combo guard, and plays with a lot of effort and talent. He excels off the bounce getting to the paint and has really good court vision. When driving he often makes the right decision and can make all the passes, or can go finish at the rim. For strengths in his game Gray II lists: “my mid-range game, my ability to see the floor, making plays for others, defense, ball handling, attacking the basket and my love for the game.” The latter really stands out when getting to see the emerging guard compete, and the skills are evident. His outside game has also really come a long way where he knocks down the perimeter shot with confidence. However, he still lists three-point shooting as something he’s working hard to improve even more, also adding being more vocal and being early on help-side defense.

While Gray II continues to add interest from college programs who will surely be monitoring his progression over the next year or two, the Hopkins standout is constantly in the gym working on his game. With several smaller Division I programs and even interest from a top-shelf program like Georgetown in the mix early, there is plenty fuel for Gray II’s competitive spirit. Furthermore, he has some other strong drive motivating him forward. One thing he keeps in his mind when needing to push through adversity is an injury he sustained early in middle school, telling “my 6th grade season, when I wasn’t able to play due to a broken leg, it broke me down and humbled me, but it also pushed me to strive to be better coming back… that’s when I knew basketball was my passion.” That passion has moved him a long way to this point, but he also carries another love with him to keep him striving to reach greater heights. “My late uncle Ervin Locke Sr.” he said motivates him, adding “next to my parents and sister, he was my number 1 fan… he wanted to see me play Varsity basketball and win a state title like he did in high school, he believed in me and wanted me to be great and said that greatness was in my blood, and I’m determined to prove it.”