Gray Enjoying Summer Basketball

Nike Camp, summer school, and the Charlotte Pro-am league are just of the tip of the iceberg for Justin Gray's preparation for his final season at Wake Forest. The 6'1 guard is currently trying out for the USA Basketball Men's U21 World Championship Team in Dallas, Texas.

The U21 team is comprised of the top college athletes in the nation and Justin Gray along with former Deacon point guard Chris Paul both played on the U21's gold medal team a year ago. "This is a great opportunity to be recognized as one of the 20 players to represent the country," Gray said after a practice in Dallas this past weekend. "We take pride in this and that is why we have been working so hard." If selected, Gray will play in the 2005 Global Games.

With the hectic schedule of the summer Gray has very little time to relax, but has accepted the challenge and is excited for next season. This summer he has focused on two areas of his game.

"I am working on ball handling and trying to be more vocal. I am going to have the point guard role and I told coach I am ready to take it over. I get to lead these guys and that will carry over to school."

St. Joseph's and U21 coach Phil Martelli thinks this is a logical step for Gray. "Every player's goal here is to play at the next level. He will have to become a point guard in the NBA. Ball skills are very important," Martelli said.

Martelli has also been impressed with Gray as a leader. "I am very impressed with Justin Gray as a person. When he was selected he called me and asked what he could do to help the team. He has been very vocal for the team."

Gray, who has played pick-up basketball with each of the recruits heading to Winston-Salem for the upcoming season, hopes his leadership can help mold the talented recruits who will be freshmen this season at Wake Forest. When asked about the new recruits, Gray stated, "I have been able to play with all the recruits. The recruits will be good this year. Tell Deacon fans to have no worries; they will be good."

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