When Martè Grays was asked by her agent if she wanted to play in New Zealand her reply was instant.
“I’ve got to go!
“I’d heard so many great things about New Zealand that when this opportunity came about there was no doubt that I was going to take it.”
“I feel so comfortable here,” remarked the 26 year-old forward at the team’s Media Day earlier this week.
A degree of that comfort comes about through her links with New Zealand and some prior familiarity with her Kāhu teammates.
“I played for Bendigo Spirit (2019-20) in my first season out of college in the Australian WNBL. During that time I played against Micaela (Cocks) who was playing for Townsville and
Tahlia (Tupaea) who was with Sydney at the time.”
Martè enjoyed an outstanding basketball and scholastic career at De Paul University where she played 133 games for the Blue Demons scoring 1,375 points as well as tallying 568 rebounds.
“Flynn Cameron was on the men’s basketball team for a couple of years during my time at De Paul.”
Flynn, the son of Tall Blacks coach Pero Cameron is a nephew of our Head Coach Jody Cameron.
Also during her time at De Paul she played against Krystal Leger-Walker.
“We played against each other when Krystal was playing at Northern Colorado before she went to Washington State University.”
“All these connections make me feel more at home here in New Zealand,” exclaimed Martè.
From Detroit, Michigan, Martè attended Martin Luther King Jr High School before accepting a scholarship at De Paul.
In addition to being a 4 year starter at De Paul she also excelled academically where she majored in sociology with a concentration in Criminology. On three occasions she was named to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team.
She capped off her senior year (2018-19) by receiving a prestigious Scholar-Athlete award from the Division I Athletic Directors Association - the award is only given to 10 players.
The citation read:
"These outstanding student-athletes are incredible people who lead in the classroom, in competition and in their communities. They are role models and demonstrate exactly what we mean by student-athlete. We are proud to present them with our highest recognition."
Further endorsement of Gray’s character and personality can be referenced in the link below:
In addition to playing in Australia Martè has also played in Greece and most recently in Slovakia for MBK Ruzomberok, the 2022 Slovakian Cup winners and European Cup challengers.
Post basketball Martè wants to go back and complete her Masters degree, in the meantime she is focused on helping her new found Kiwi friends win the Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa championship.
Martè joins Micaela Cocks, Krystal Leger-Walker, Akiene-Tea Reed, Tahlia Tupaea, Madison Wolf, Ash Kelman-Poto, Jazz Kailahi-Fulu, Olivia Berry and Jaycin Tini as announced Kāhu signings.
The Kāhu play their first home game, against Tokomanawa Queens at Franklin Pool & Leisure Centre on Monday July 4. Get your tickets here!