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Gradey Dick

After 3x3 Experience, Sunrise Christian’s Gradey Dick is Ready for Nike Hoop Summit

  • Author:
    Drew Silverman, Red Line Editorial
  • Date:
    Mar 28, 2022

Last summer, Gradey Dick got a taste of international competition. So when the 6-foot-7-inch wing player was selected to represent the United States on the basketball court once again this spring, the 18-year-old jumped at the opportunity.

One of the nation’s elite high school seniors, Dick will compete for the USA against some of his peers from around the globe at next month’s Nike Hoop Summit. The native of Wichita, Kansas, who plays for Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas, recently was named to the team of American high school seniors that will compete against a squad of elite international teenagers on April 8 in Portland, Oregon.

“I’d say it’s one of the best honors you can receive as a basketball player, on and off the court,” Dick said. “Representing your country in one of the best sports, on one of the best teams, is one of the greatest honors I’ve ever received. To be invited to this team is something I’m extremely thankful for.”

Dick knows what it’s like to wear the “USA” across his chest. He was part of the U.S. team that won gold at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in Hungary last August, and he squeezed every ounce of enjoyment out of that experience.

“It was super fun,” said Dick, who acknowledged that playing 3x3 was a significant adjustment for him and his teammates. “Once we got used to 3x3, it was fun. I’d never been out of the country for sports, so to travel abroad and play over there was awesome. It was cool to see different countries and meet people from different backgrounds and to step on the floor and play against them.”

And, of course, it was nice to leave Hungary with a gold medal around his neck.

“It was cool to see how the international game is played and for us to get the gold was huge,” Dick said. “Definitely one of my biggest accomplishments.”

And make no mistake, Dick’s list of accomplishments is a lengthy one. He is a two-time Gatorade Kansas Boys Basketball Player of the Year and, just this week, he was named the 2022 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. So far this season Dick is averaging 17.9 points and 5.2 rebounds and is shooting 46.7% from 3-point range for Sunrise Christian, which is the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Geico High School Nationals.

“As a team, I think our season has been one of the best out there,” Dick said. “We came together as a team. Personally, for me, I was proud to help lead our team to being ranked No. 1 in the country and the top seed going into Geico.”

On a personal level, Dick acknowledged that he —with the urging of coach Luke Barnwell — challenged himself to be more of a leader, on and off the court.

“Coming from last season, we had a lot of seniors,” Dick said. “They told me how to run the team as a senior — and it was really helpful. Talking to coach Luke throughout the summer, realizing what our team needs, it was huge for me. Just being a leader with the team is what the team needed. That mindset just helped me really step up to the plate.”

At the conclusion of the high school season and the Nike Hoop Summit, Dick will start preparing to take his sweet shooting stroke to the University of Kansas. He is ranked among the top 10 players in the Class of 2022 by multiple scouting services.

“I’m trying to improve my leadership and be consistent every day,” Dick said. “I know (Kansas coach Bill Self) expects me to be ready from the get-go. He’s going to throw me in the fire early. I want to embrace that and be as prepared as I can be when I set foot on campus.”

Dick has formed close relationships with many of the current Jayhawks, a group that is preparing for a trip to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.

Will Dick be watching, just as he did in the early rounds of the tourney?

“Of course,” he said, enthusiastically. “This is one of the most exciting times of the year for college basketball and for basketball in general. What the tournament is like every year, with the excitement around it, the brackets, the history of the tournament, just seeing my future team in it and getting wins early is exciting.”

 

Drew Silverman is a freelance contributor to USAB.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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