Kenny Gregory taking former NBA lottery pick Marcus Fizer to the hole in Euroleague action.
Around the same time that a dude from UNC was making people forget who Jerry Stackhouse was as he crammed on some heads, another player was showing tremendous hops and the same abilities. Kenny Gregory honed his game at Independence HS in Columbus, OH, earning the state’s Player of the Year Award, plus a ‘97 McDonald’s All-American Game MVP. A certified sky walker, he played for Coach Roy Williams at Kansas U. from ’97-01’.
During Gregory’s tenure at KU, he balled with future NBA players Jacque Vaughn, Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce, Billy Thomas, Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich, and Drew Gooden. Upon seeing Kenny’s performance at the McDonald’s Game, I felt as though league stardom was a certainty in his path. With modest career averages of 11.4 ppg, 4.3 boards, and 1.7 dimes, the Greenville Groove drafted Gregory in the NBDL’s inaugural season.
The last times Kenny played in the States were in the summer of ‘02 with the USBL’s Dodge City Legend*, and then a tryout with the Bulls in ’05. Playing the ‘07-08’ season for Efes Pilsen Istanbul in the Turkish League, Gregory had averages of 11.2 ppg, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 swipes. He has also balled with the Chester Jets (England), Pallacanestro Pavia (Italy), and MSB Le Mans (France), where he was a two-time All-Star selection.
The pro career of Kenny Gregory is like many other talented players in the sense that he is missing something that prevented him from making it to the highest level. What cats do you know that killed in High School, College, and AAU runs, but never were never able to get mustard in the NBA?
*Note: In ’02, I attended a USBL Dodge City Legend vs. Pennsylvania Valley Dawgs game. I have never seen a player with springs like Kenny’s; jump game was crazy!