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Gay signs to play basketball at Erskine

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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Jessica Gay signs a grant-in-aid to play basketball at NCAA Division II Erskine College. Her parents, Tracy and Steven, brother Austin, sister Mary-Claire, and Greer coach Carlton Greene share in the ceremony this morning at Greer High School.

Jim Fair

Jessica Gay signs a grant-in-aid to play basketball at NCAA Division II Erskine College. Her parents, Tracy and Steven, brother Austin, sister Mary-Claire, and Greer coach Carlton Greene share in the ceremony this morning at Greer High School.



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Jessica Gay is all smiles after signing a grant-in-aid with Erskine College.

Jim Fair

Jessica Gay is all smiles after signing a grant-in-aid with Erskine College.



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Family and friends enjoy a group photo opportunity with Jessica Gay before her signing to play basketball at Erskine College.

Jim Fair

Family and friends enjoy a group photo opportunity with Jessica Gay before her signing to play basketball at Erskine College.

Jessica Gay’s style of play is exactly what Erskine women’s basketball coach Russ Gregg was seeking for his 2012 recruiting class.

That’s what he got this morning when Gay, a Greer High School basketball standout, signed a grant-in-aid with the NCAA Division II Erskine Flying Fleet. “I’ve been looking forward to this all week,” Gay, wearing an Erskine pullover, said. Gay’s family and friends attended the signing in the Alumni Room at Greer High School.

“My dad (Steven) told me you should be a girl outside the lines. When you’re inside the lines, play like a man,” Gay said.  Gay was the one constant for Greer this year that defined her team’s aggressive style of play.

Gregg said he was impressed with Gay’s on-court personality. “Jessica is a hard-nosed player and a hard worker. You don’t often see that in a player every day,” Gregg said.

Gay has maintained a 4.04 grade point average. She averaged 8.1 points,  4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2 steals per game for Greer. Gay made honorable mention All-Greenville County, played in the PAA and FCA all-star games and was nominated for the South Carolina High School League Scholar Athlete award.

Carlton Greene, Greer’s basketball coach, said he saw Gay’s potential at the next level two years ago. “She was a two-year starter, she’s got nice size, and good natural ability and can shoot the ball well.”

Gay said she began thinking about playing basketball in college when, “I began thinking how much college was going to cost my family.” Gay will major in physical therapy.

Greene had Gay playing point guard this year to help a younger Greer team mature. “She handled that real well,” Greene said. “Erskine was looking for a shooting guard and Jessica will do well in her natural position. Every team, at some point to be competitive, needs a person to put up a shot. And they need to make them.”

Gregg, entering his second year as Erskine coach at the Due West campus, recruited a core group of players from the AAU team Gay played on the past two years. “Our big thing is we need to start recruiting local. These (AAU) girls have a lot of ability, they’re not foreign to each other and we believe recruiting that core or nucleus is going to benefit us in the long run and will be a plus.” 

 

 

 

 

 

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