Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

May 7, 2014

More hoops for Griffith at Alice Lloyd

CANNONSBURG — Boyd County boys basketball coach Randy Anderson credits Grayson Griffith for setting a lofty standard for future players in the program.

The highly dedicated senior who led the Lions in scoring this season signed Tuesday to attend Alice Lloyd College, located in Knott County.

“On a daily basis, Grayson's work ethic surpassed whatever we asked and expected,” Anderson said. “He gave it his all every day in the weight room and every day at practice. I hope that trickles down to our young guys.”

The 6-foot-3 Griffith averaged 14.8 points and helped lead Boyd County to a 19-win season, highlighted by the end of a 15-year drought between 64th District championships. The Lions went 17-4 against 16th Region teams.

Griffith earned All-Area honors and was named to the regional All-Tournament team.

His play caught the attention of Alice Lloyd, a member of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

After watching video of Griffith, the Eagles' coaching staff invited him to a workout.

“That's when we were really impressed with his athleticism and passion for the game,” said Alice Lloyd assistant coach Wes Smith, who attended Griffith's signing at Boyd County High School.

Griffith's combination of size, strength and versatility figure to transition well to the college level. Alice Lloyd's transition-oriented style often includes four or even five guards.

“The way we like to play is with a deep rotation,” Smith said. “We do a lot of dribble-drive. Somebody with his athleticism and shooting ability can do well. Grayson fits that kind of system.”

As a senior, Griffith made 41 three-pointers and also averaged 5.3 rebounds.

The son of Boyd County assistant coach Rick Griffith and wife Suzanne is already looking forward to putting on an Alice Lloyd jersey. Two of them were draped across the table during his signing.

“I always wanted to play college basketball,” Grayson said. “That's been my goal, even from back in elementary school, I've wanted to keep playing as long as I possibly could.”

Rick Griffith got Grayson started at an early age, while the coach was on staff at the University of Kentucky.

Rick recalled coaching a kindergarten game in Lexington when Grayson scored a basket on the wrong goal.

“He was devastated when he realized what he had done,” the coach said. “I took a timeout. Our other players were patting him on the back, trying to make him feel better. When we went back out, Grayson scored on our next play on the correct goal. From that time on, he's made quite a few more.”

A two-year starter at Boyd County, Griffith put in just fewer than 850 points for his varsity career.

That's not what Anderson will remember most, however.

“Grayson has one of the best hearts of any kid I've been privileged to coach,” Anderson said.

Griffith said he feels blessed to have two strong coaching influences in his life on and off the court.

“Every day, dad is my coach, my mentor,” Grayson said. “Without him, I wouldn't have made it through school. He's always going to be there for me. (Anderson) is the best coach I've ever had. He's straight up with you about everything and really cares about his players. I've looked forward every day to coming to practice.”

The veteran coach said he has nothing but great expectations for Griffith at Alice Lloyd.

“He's going to keep plodding until playing time comes. He will help them and be very successful,” Anderson said.

Griffith plans to work toward a triple major in sports management, physical education and kinesiology.      

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

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