Birthdate: March 2, 1990
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio
High School: West Chester Lakota West (2008)
Colleges: University of Tennessee (2008-10), Xavier University (2010-2013)
Year Inducted: 2023
How eye-opening was the level of Amber Gray’s play at the outset of her basketball career? Well, she was named an All-American by virtually every prep service – including USA Today, Nike, McDonald’s, Parade and Slam magazine – while dominating at Lakota West High School just outside of Cincinnati. Along with earning a full-ride scholarship from Tennessee, the pre-eminent program in the nation, she represented America and won a gold medal at the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival Games in 2007. In 2008, she took home honors as Ohio’s “Ms. Basketball.”
Gray was a four-year all-state performer on the hardwood, twice making the first team, and also was a standout in volleyball. In her amazing prep career, she totaled 1,931 career points and 925 rebounds – numbers that would eventually earn her a rightful place in the Lakota West Hall of Fame in 2019 and the Greater Cincinnati High School Hall of Fame in 2022.
Gray was just getting started in 2008, and when she reported to the Volunteers her ceiling was still sky high. However, her health and life took a turn at UT as she suffered both a brain aneurysm and debilitating stroke that left her temporarily unable to speak or move her limbs. Her incredible work ethic was put to the test as she returned to her hometown to conduct an arduous rehab. After a stunning recovery, she we cleared to play basketball again and decided to attend nearby Xavier University, where she earned Atlantic 10 all-conference honors in 2013. Gray even managed to play professionally in France for multiple seasons following college.
Her perseverance has inspired many and earned her several recognitions, including the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award and the Cincinnati Sports Professional Network Comeback Award. Gray is now a motivational speaker and founder of the WHERE2NEXT Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps prepare youth for the next phase of their life. She enters the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame at age 32.