By: Miguel Dominguez
Delilah Kimble Gray played at the East Los Angeles College men’s gym for a high school all-star game. She was then scouted by Assistant Coach Wilbert Knight.
Coach Knight told Gray that he liked her game. Coach Bruce Turner said her strengths on the court are “passing and being able to handle pressure.” “Most teams like to try to take away your best ball handler. She does a good job of drawing the double team and moving the ball quickly so others can make plays,” Turner said.
He showed her the school and what the school could offer her, said Gray. Gray had other offers but preferred ELAC. “It was family-oriented. The campus is amazing and had the classes that I wanted. It was the perfect fit for me” Gray said.
Gray had a good experience in her first year at ELAC, with coaches and the instructors on campus.“The culture is very lively here. The teachers as well. Like my first year here, I felt like I could connect with the teachers at a different level. The coaches as well. They help us when we need it on and off the court” Gray said.
Gray has been playing since she was five years old and was trained by her mom. “My mom has been my trainer since I was five. “We used to go out [play basketball] before and after school. As I got older, she turned me over to other trainers who knew more,” Gray said.
When the pandemic hit, Gray couldn’t play basketball on and off the court. “It was tough in the beginning. I mean if you are taken away from the sport you love so much, a sport that you constantly play throughout your life. We couldn’t go outside [play at the parks]. They took the rims down. We couldn’t get into our gym to play,” Gray said.
Gray said when the players came to practice on the first day, the coach took it out on the team after a year without playing basketball.“Me personally. I don’t think I was in shape going up and down the court. I think it was hard for all of us. We did work out on Zoom, but it’s different,” Gray said.
With the team having more freshmen than sophomores on the team this season, Delilah said they are more than teammates. “We are definitely a family. We look at each other as sisters,” Gray said.
Gray’s main goal for the team is “to get that white banner [championship banner] with all our names on it. That’s the main goal” Gray said. Her goals after ELAC are to earn a bachelor’s degree and a scholarship for a division one team.
Gray would like to play for a WNBA team. “I would love to play for the LA Sparks because I’m from LA. But any team in the WNBA or to travel overseas. I want to travel the world, new cultures, new people, new food,” Gray said.
Gray’s idols are point guard Skylar Diggins who plays for the Mercury Phoenix. Her second idol is Nneka Ogwumike who plays for the Los Angeles Sparks. “I just love her aura and how she sees the game. And Kobe definitely [third idol],” Gray said.
The women’s basketball season is around the corner, which starts in November. “I definitely can’t wait, I can’t wait. Once one game starts, it just keeps coming and coming and that’s what I like. Being able to practice and play, I can’t wait for the season to start,” Gray said.
Fans will be able to see the Huskies play their first game home in December. “I’m excited because playing in the gym with no one is kind of awkward. But to be able to have people yelling and cheering. That’s what it’s about, you putting on a show, not for yourself, but for coaches and family that sacrifice so much for you to get to this moment,” Gray said.
One of her biggest fans waiting for the season to start is her little brother. “I’m looking forward to him yelling at me at the free throw line. “Make it, I hope you make it,” Gray said.