Carroll County’s Ryan Gravley not only earned the rare honor of representing the Cavaliers in the Virginia High School Coaches’ Assocation East-West All-Star Game, the Cavalier standout started for the West team.
The Region IV Player of the Year and a first-team All-Group AA selection in 2013, Gravley scored seven points and dished out five assists in the West’s 84-72 loss to the East at Christopher Newport University in Newport News on July 8. Gravley, who was originally chosen as an alternate for the all-star game, ended up working his way up to a starting position.
“It was a big honor. It was fun to get out and play with people I didn’t really know and get to be with all the different coaches and learn what they do,” Gravley said. “It was fun to play with such an athletic team like the East.”
The East certainly came into the game as the favorite with a handful of Division I athletes, led by Brunswick 6-7 forward and East Carolina-bound Brandan Stith, the son of former University of Virginia great Bryant Stith. The East squad also featured Ramone Snowden and Jordan Baker, both headed to Old Dominion on full scholarships, and University of Cincinnati-bound guard Troy Caupain.
“I think it was probably higher than that,” Gravley said when comparing the competition level at the VHSCA All-Star game to typical AAU competition. “The East was so athletic. They had four or five Division I guys, but I thought I played pretty well against them.”
The East jumped out to a 22-point lead at one time before the West clawed their way back into it, cutting the deficit to four before falling by 12 points. Gravley’s teammate, and former Southwest District rival, Mack Owens of Abingdon, scored 12 points for the West.
“I was real tickled that he got to play. He deserves it. He’s worked hard and it’s good to see him cap off his high school career, go to college and do that in between,” Carroll County head coach Brad Hawks said. “Not many kids from our area and even Southwest Virginia get to do that. You think about the number of high school players in Virginia, so it’s just a great accomplishment for him.”
It was a great way to finish a fantastic high school career for Gravley, who guided the Cavaliers to their first Regional championship in 33 years this winter and the program’s first trip to the Group AA State Tournament since 1991 en route to a 24-3 season. Gravley will soon head to Emory & Henry College to play basketball for the Wasps.
“I’m getting pretty excited to get down there and meet new teammates and the coaching staff and to get ready for the season,” said Gravley, who joins the first recruiting class for new coach David Wilson. “I think once we get there and work hard we will be able to start winning some and get the program going in the right direction.”