So often, many young players get caught up in the “playing at the highest level syndrome.” We have seen it time and time again. A young player is recruited hard by a mid major program for a long period of time, but will commit to a higher level program just because they are a “higher level.” For 6’3 super athletic wing guard Donovan Gregory, that was not the case. You see, Gregory was a consensus top 150 player in the national rankings. Gregory came off an impressive junior season at Carmel Christian where he led them to a state championship in the NCISAA 2A.
When Gregory committed to Appalachian State, many people were surprised that the national recruit decided on an in-state school like Appalachian State University. What many people didn’t realize, Gregory was both well grounded and very humble and the long term relationship with Appalachian’s head coach Jim Fox and assistant coach Jason Allison meant something to Gregory and his parents. After his commitment, we received the following from his mother Belinda. “Jerome and I wanted to personally thank you and Phenom Hoops for all the kind words and exposure over the years. I remember having an “aha” moment about a year ago while having a conversation with you. You said to me, “when Donovan chooses a college next year, make sure he goes where they want him and not necessarily where he wants to go.” That comment always stuck with me! I can truly say that Jerome and I feel that Donovan made an awesome decision in choosing App State! Much love to Coach Fox and Coach Allison for showing Donovan love since he was a sophomore. We appreciate you!”
It’s not often in today’s basketball culture to find such well grounded parents and player as the Gregory’s. . Simply stated, they understood the big picture. Appalachian State recruited Donovan since he was a sophomore and never looked back. In return, Appalachian State was rewarded with a high level player that will bring instant energy and enthusiasm to a rebuilding program, not to mention a quality young man both in the classroom and on the basketball court. For some players it’s all about playing at the highest level, but for Donovan Gregory it was about finding the right fit and being wanted and needed.