Fox 44/ABC 22 HS Athlete of the Week: Rice Memorial's Kendrick Gray

Published 02/05 2014 09:32PM

Updated 02/06 2014 10:33AM

South Burlington, VT -- In Vermont HS basketball, there has never been anyone quite like Kendrick Gray.

"Kendrick is definitely one of a kind. This kid has got a lot of talent and potential at such a young age." said Rice assistant coach Derek Trono.
"The sheer level of talent and upside on Kendrick is nothing I've ever seen."

At just 15 years old, standing 6'6" with a natural athletic ability seldom seen, Gray is the real deal. And he's getting better.

"Since day one to now I've seen so much improvement in Kendrick and I'm proud to be a part of it." said Green Knight senior captain Matt Maynard.

Gray was 12 when he dunked for the first time.
New England Recruiting Report named the top prospect in Vermont. He's out to validate that.

"To be the best," said Gray. "If I'm looked at as the best then I have to prove it."

However, basketball has taken a backseat. In the last 6 months, Kendrick's life has changed dramatically. 

"We're talking about a 15 year old kid who moved to a new town...started a new school...had the tragedy of losing his father." explained Trono.

"In August my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was like a little bit before his birthday. As time was going on he was just getting weaker. I think my family could see it coming." Gray told FOX 44/ABC 22.

But Kendrick wasn't expecting that a month ago, just four months after his father's diagnosis, he'd be gone.

"The day came, I had a game at CVU. After my game I went home and my Gram told me. She woke me up at four, five...when I'd get up for school and she told me that he passed away." said Gray.

In the days and weeks since his father's passing, Kendrick has returned to basketball and played with his father in his memory.

"I was trying to pretend he was there. To make him proud. And that's how I thought about it as I was playing in my games. Just thinking he was in the stands or something."

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.