A few months ago, it was all just a dream for Gradey Dick. Dick, a sophomore to be at Wichita Collegiate has seen his stock rise more than anyone in the class of 2022 in recent weeks. Whilst he’s had a whirlwind of a last few months from a basketball standpoint, he credits that most to KC Run GMC program and the coaches.
“It was great,” Dick said about his spring with Run GMC. “A lot of the credit goes to them for helping me get the exposure that I got from coaches,” Dick added. “The coaches there have helped me tremendously with my game.”
The fast-rising guard in the 2022 class got his first taste of his dream while competing at the USA 16u Trials, where his stock really started to take off. While Dick didn’t end up making the 16u team he made it to the final cut of 18 before it was trimmed to the final 12 players representing their country. “It was my first time at a USA event, where these other guys had been to 3 camps before,” Dick said. “But I held my own and made it to the final 18. It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to the next mini-camp at the end of this month.”
With the honor of representing your country on the world stage, these events can have a little added pressure to a kid. But that wasn’t the case for Dick. “Yeah, obviously there were some butterflies going into the event, but the most important thing my coaches and mentors told me was just to stay confident and trust that all my work has me ready,” Dick said. “Once that ball tipped off, it felt like another game for me.”
“My mindset it to just be confident and to just keep in mind that it’s not my first time this time,” Dick said. Dick plans on using his experience from the trials and have it carried over to the mini camp at the end of July while also competing against the top kids in the country. “I’m hoping to learn from the coaches there, but also help my game by competing against the best.”
The event that really kickstarted Dick’s notoriety and raised his stock was the Midwest Basketball Showcase that took place in Liberty, Missouri over the weekend of June 21st-23rd. Which was also the first event that Division One coaches could attend in June. Dick ended up adding offers from Wichita State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Nebraska, and Creighton after the weekend. “I’m still a little in shock,” Dick said regarding his performance and the popularity after the event. “It really just came out of nowhere,” Dick added. “That showcase and getting to talk to the coaches that I’ve watched while growing up, that was a very special experience for me. I’m just very grateful and excited for it all.”
Having lived in Kansas his whole life, the offers from the hometown teams mean a lot to him, but it’s all still new to him with only being a sophomore to be. “I grew up following both Wichita State and Kansas, so of course those two offers mean a lot to me,” Dick said. “I’m open to all schools and I’m just really excited to get all of this recruiting stuff underway.”
With a way to go before his recruitment comes to an end, all schools are similar and have relayed the same message. “They’re just saying that they hope to have me in a few years and that I need to keep working.”
The interest from schools doesn’t stop there. With 6 offers to his name from some of the most prestigious programs in the country, Dick has been hearing from Purdue, Colorado, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Memphis. While nothing official has came from them yet, it will only be a matter of time before they hop on board with the other 6 schools.
Being a 6’6” wing there can be several players to model your game after or have been a favorite. While some kids would say LeBron James, Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, and many others, Dick says otherwise.
“One of my favorite players of all-time is Tracy McGrady because of how versatile his game was and I feel I’m similar in that way because I can play all the positions.”
With the high school season still months away that’s not stopping Dick from taking his game to the next level, even with all the interest that’s following him. “I need to improve my defensive side of my game.”
“Coaches want to see not only can I score, but can I guard,” Dick said. “So just working on having quicker feet on defense will improve my game.”
The 2022 wing will be a hot commodity for all the top programs across the country, most certainly with the blue bloods chasing him. Don’t be surprised when he’s the kid who was relatively unknown to becoming a Top 10 player in his class. Time will only tell, but he’s heading in the right direction.