Gray thankful as he turns attention to NBA

RaiQuan Gray helped take Florida State to three Sweet 16s in his four years in Tallahassee. And while he is graduating next month, he said his decision to stay or leave for the NBA was one of the “hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.”

The 6-foot-8 redshirt junior forward announced on Friday afternoon that he is turning pro. Gray averaged 11.9 points (second on the team) and 6.4 rebounds (first on the team) in the 2020-21 season. Because of his height, slimmed-down frame (about 250 pounds) ability to dribble and shoot jumpers, Gray was a difficult one-on-one matchup.

In a Twitter post, Gray thanked his family, teammates, the coaching staff, support staff and FSU fans for the last three years on the court. He called coach Leonard Hamilton “like a father figure” and said he has built long-term relationships with Seminoles teammates.

“I will be entering my name into the 2021 NBA Draft and pursuing my dreams of becoming an NBA player!” Gray said. “At times, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I am forever grateful for these last 4 years.”

After a redshirt season and two years in which he developed into a contributor, Gray’s game was elevated in 2020-21. He scored in double figures in 13 of 18 games in January, February and March and had double-doubles against Notre Dame, Wake Forest and Miami (twice).

Gray’s full Twitter post can be viewed here.

His decision likely means FSU will lose its top three scorers from the 2020-21 season, although senior M.J. Walker could opt to return. Freshman Scottie Barnes is widely viewed as a first-round pick and a potential lottery selection.

The Osceola previously had an early view of the 2021-22 outlook for the Seminoles.