Tweet: As Vivian Gray’s time as a Lady Raider comes to a close, read about her accomplishments both on and off the court below:
In her final year of eligibility and her second season with Texas Tech’s women’s basketball team, senior guard Vivian Gray is averaging 19.8 points and 2 steals per game, both figures lead the Lady Raiders despite missing eight games.
In her debut at the United Supermarkets Arena, Gray recorded 24 points and eight rebounds. She wrapped up her first season as the Lady Raider’s leader in points, rebounds, steals and blocks, according to Tech Athletics.
After the 2020-21 season, Gray was named All-America honorable mention by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. She was also selected for the First Team All-Big 12 and finished as a top 10 finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award (given to the top small forward in the nation), according to Tech Athletics.
Gray said she hopes to accomplish many more goals to close off her career.
“Team-wise, I would love to finish top three in the conference and then make a deep run in the NCAA tournament,” Gray said. “Personal goals, I want to be an All-American again, preferably first-team, and then my biggest goal is to be the Big 12 Player of the Year.”
To kick off her final season, Gray was unanimously named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team for the third time in her career, according to Tech Athletics.
The honors did not stop here, however. In the following weeks, Gray was also selected to the Cheryl Miller Award Watch List, the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List and the Naismith Awards Watch List.
When asked about Gray being named to the Wooden Preseason Watch List, head coach Krista Gerlich said her accomplishments are well-earned.
“There is no doubt that Vivian should be included in a list like this,” Gerlich said. “She is one of the best players in the nation. Returning for her super senior year, I think she has positioned herself to be in the tops of these awards and it goes to show her hard work is paying off. It’s great to see her get this special recognition.”
So far this season, Gray has missed eight games due to an ankle injury that occured during preseason. Despite this, she leads her team with 257 points and 26 steals, according to Tech Athletics.
“You know, what’s really been hard for me is trying to get past my injuries and trying to get back into the flow of my game and finding my game again after being out for so long,” Gray said. “But I think I’m finally finding my rhythm again and really back into it so yeah, hopefully it keeps getting better.”
With eight games left in the regular season, the Lady Raiders currently hold an overall record of 9-12 (2-8), according to Tech Athletics.
Their most recent loss was against No. 25 Kansas State when Gray tallied 36 points to lead her team.
Gerlich said Gray’s recent performances are due to a change in her mentality.
“I think that she has really developed a different focus over the last couple of weeks,” Gerlich said. “I think that her urgency is really on point for a senior, and I think that she’s just playing with a great amount of confidence and poise, not only for herself, but for her teammates.”
This season, Gray has nearly hit the milestone of 2,000 career points, according to Tech Athletics.
“I don’t think it necessarily means something specific to me,” Gray said. “It is kind of a lot of pressure, so trying to not focus on that and focus more on the team is what helps me. I’m just trying to put the team on my back and try to get some more wins and try not to focus on the points as much.”
As the All-American’s time as a Lady Raider comes to an end, she is impacting her team more than ever.
Gerlich said Gray’s talent should continue to be recognized.
“I just think that you’re seeing a warrior’s mentality,” Gerlich said. “You know, she’s willing to put the team on her back. She doesn’t think she has to do it all, but yet she’s doing it all because it’s just what the game is bringing to her ... just really giving us a great overall performance.”