Winter 2022

Gradey Dick playing key role for No. 4 Kansas as he aims 'to make Him proud'

The college recruiting process was not difficult or stressful for Gradey Dick. His dad and three older siblings all went to the University of Kansas, and he was visiting Phog Allen Fieldhouse long before he became a McDonald’s All-American.

He always wanted to be a Jayhawk.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

“It was always my dream school growing up,” Dick told KAKE in February. “Being able to go to games in Lawrence at a young age, that was just a big advantage for me.”

The 6-foot-8 freshman is now the second-leading scorer for the defending national champions with 15.8 points per game. There are only four freshmen averaging more points through Monday’s games.

He is also one of four players — and the only one on a high-major team — averaging 15 or more points and shooting 50% or better from the floor with at least 30 made 3-pointers and a 3-point percentage above 45%.

Dick stuffed the stat sheet with a game-high 20 points, six rebounds and five steals in Kansas’ 84-62 win over No. 14 Indiana on Saturday. The victory moved the Jayhawks to 10-1 on the season and earned them the No. 4 spot in Monday’s Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.

Best known for his shooting stroke, Dick is connecting on 49.2% of his 3-point attempts and shooting 50.4% from the field. He went 5-for-5 in the first half against the Hoosiers and finished 8-of-12.

Dick was a five-star recruit coming out of Sunrise Christian Academy, a faith-focused prep basketball powerhouse located in Bel Aire, Kansas. Among the teammates he played with at Sunrise are NBA rookies Kendall Brown and Kennedy Chandler, as well as Duke’s Mark Mitchell.

In a mini documentary released in March about Sunrise and its mission, Dick explained how faith was incorporated into his daily routine at the school.

“Just the fact that we get to learn about Christ and read the Bible and study different topics within the Bible every single day — we start early and then every Wednesday we have chapel also,” he said. “It’s like they’re feeding us every day.”

After being named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in March, Dick gave thanks to God in a social media post.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Gradey Dick (@gr3dey)

He has not been shy about redirecting the praise and attention he’s received to the Lord and acknowledging the ways he’s been blessed.

“[God], He gave me these blessings, so I’m gonna do my best to make Him proud, my family proud and make Kansas proud,” Dick recently told SLAM.

Likely a first-round pick if he decides to enter the NBA draft after this season, Dick is making an intentional effort to use his platform to bring glory to God.

“I was given, fortunately, all these blessings in my life, and that’s kind of my hand, and I’m trying to do the best I can do with it and glorify God while I’m doing it,” he told SLAM.

Kansas faces Harvard on Thursday in its final game before Big 12 conference play begins. The Jayhawks host Oklahoma State in their Big 12 opener on Saturday.

RELATED STORIES:
Mini doc chronicles rise of faith-based basketball power Sunrise Christian Academy
Kansas completes epic championship game comeback, led by faith-driven Jalen Wilson
SS PODCAST: Former Florida hoops player Patric Young on faith, overcoming paralysis
Auburn men’s basketball players baptized in Jordan River during exhibition tour of Israel
SS PODCAST: Former Valparaiso coach Homer Drew on coaching for greater purpose