Most high school superstar athletes are pretty easy to pick out by their demeanor. And if you are not 100 percent sure about their athletic exploits, you can usually just ask them. They will be happy to tell you.
Then there are those rare athletes like Carroll County senior point guard Ryan Gravley, who despite his multiple athletic achievements, is probably the quietest player on the Cavaliers’ team. If anybody had reason to be boastful, it is Gravley, the returning Southwest District Player of the Year, a first-team All-Region IV selection and honorable mention all-state pick a year ago. But despite leading the Cavaliers to a 15-0 record and a No. 4 ranking in the Timesland, Gravley chooses to go about his business quietly, letting his play do all the talking.
We say all that to say this – while Gravley is probably the consummate teammate and a coach’s dream, we’re not sure how great of a subject he will make for Talking Trash. We will attempt to throw the full-court press at him, hoping he will handle it better than the Cavaliers’ first 15 opponents.
When we’ve interviewed you before, you were quick to give praise to your teammates and coaches. That is probably the best trait an athlete could have, but let’s face it, that’s also pretty boring. C’mon man, give us something. Brag on yourself a little or give us an example of what Ryan Gravley trash talk would sound like? You could probably ask Chris Smoot about it and he could give you an answer. I’m not one to brag, but we go at each other a lot. Since he moved down here, we have spent numerous times at the Wellness Center, open gym, and even practice trying to get in each other’s head. That’s just how competitive the two of us are.
Maybe this will rile you up. Complete the following sentence – North Carolina’s basketball program is better than Duke’s because? You would never hear those words come out of my mouth. We all know Duke is undefeated as of now and #1 in the nation.
Or how about this, who in the world let Assistant Principal Adam Joyce have the honor of playing music over the P.A. during timeouts and in between quarters. Doesn’t he know the 80s were three decades ago? As a basketball team, is it a little embarrassing to enter the court with Bon Jovi or Journey blaring on the loudspeakers? He can’t help but to go back to his glory days. He and coach Hawks somehow enjoy that stuff. We all kind of ignore it. Except for Nathan, he thinks he grew up then too.
We’ve also been told your girlfriend, Megan Alderman, is just as quiet as you are. Inquiring minds want to know, what do two of the quietest athletes at Carroll County talk about? We really aren’t as quiet as people think. We are able to communicate just fine and are able to talk about most anything.
You’d think with all the individual honors you’ve accomplished on the basketball court over the past four years, P.A. announcers would be able to pronounce your name right. Hey, at least we are spelling it right now. Does it light a little extra pre-game fire under your Under Armour when announcers still call you Grave-ley? All my friends and family like to pick on me about it, but I have gotten used to it after all these years.
You are so calm and collected, you remind us a little of the Dos Equis guy. Complete the following sentence. I don’t always _______, but when I do, I _________? Show emotion, mean business.
Alright, time for some serious basketball questions. Would you rather score 30 points or dish out 15 assists, and why? Doing both would be better than only one. 15 assists would involve my teammates more though. As long as we win, it doesn’t matter to me.
What is your favorite personal moment as a member of the Carroll County boys’ basketball team? There is a lot to choose from. Wes (Smoot) tipping it in and beating Abingdon 2 years ago was a pretty good feeling, but sweeping both the regular season and tournament titles last year was good too.
Who is your favorite athlete and sporting team, and why? Favorite athlete is definitely Kobe Bryant. He is the definition of a winner and a true warrior. He does anything and everything he can to try and win. He plays hard every night and is still an elite performer after all the minutes he has played throughout his career. Favorite sporting team is the Duke Blue Devils. I have admired them since JJ Redick played, and Coach K always has them ready to play. Though they might not be as athletic as some teams, they are a true family.
If you could play one-one-one with any past or present basketball player, who would it be? Without a doubt, Kobe Bryant.
Instead of running the Four Corners when you are up 30, ever thought about just ripping off three or four crossovers in a row just to show off? Gunnar and I like to give the defenders a little extra as it is. They have a tough time staying with the two of us.
Speaking of the Four Corners, does it chap your butt that Coach Hawks makes you guys run that offense with a big lead some times? I mean, it was invented by Dean Smith. No, its something that we are good at and is good clock management. Coach K would have probably thought of the same thing.
In all seriousness, how special has it been to see the program go from 2-18 your freshman season to where it is now, ranked in the top five of the Timesland? It means a lot to us. Especially Austin and I who have been here throughout. It just comes to show you that good things come to those who work hard and we all come in every day wanting to get better.
It seems like this year’s team has great chemistry. Can you talk about how close this group is compared to other teams you have played on? We all get along well together and have known each other for a while. We try to spend a lot of time together off the court, so we can succeed better on the court.
Realistically, how far do you feel this team can advance this postseason, and how much has the tough nondistrict schedule helped you guys prepare for the playoffs? If we come in every day trying to get better and trust in each other I think the sky is the limit. I think we have the talent, we just have to stay focused and improve each day.