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Rudy Carlton Gay, Jr. (born August 17, 1986 in Baltimoremarker, Marylandmarker) is an Americanmarker professional basketball player currently with the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. Gay played collegiately at the University of Connecticutmarker.

Early life

Gay began playing competitive recreational basketball at 12 years old in the Turner Station community of in one of the toughest youth basketball leagues in the area. Early exposure to Baltimoremarker AAU basketball and summer league games in the Tom Jones Youth Summer League in Washington, D.C.marker, showcased his abilities against top competition.

At the age of 14, Rudy began playing for the nationally-known Cecil-Kirk AAU program under Coach Anthony Lewis with other blue-chip players such as Josh Boone (UConn), Paris Carter (N Mexico), and Chester Frazier (Illinois). During the spring of his 8th grade year, Gay and teammate Scott Dozier were highly sought after by several private schools. Rudy attended Eastern Technical High School in Baltimore County, while Scott enrolled at the St. Paul's Schoolmarker. Rudy transferred to Archbishop Spalding High Schoolmarker of the Baltimore Catholic League after his sophomore year at Eastern Tech.

High school career

Gay played his first two years at Baltimore County's Eastern Technical High School, a magnet school in Essexmarker. He played varsity basketball both years. Although Eastern Tech was a Blue Ribbon academic institution, Gay's parents were concerned about his college preparation and during the summer of his sophomore year solicited help from Coach Collins who suggested several private schools, including Archbishop Spalding High School. After reviewing each school's long term academic curriculum, it was decided that Gay would attend Spalding. Gay began playing for Spalding his Junior and senior years. He was one of the top recruits entering college play after attending Archbishop Spalding High School where he was 1st team All-Baltimore Catholic League honors as a junior and senior, and was also honored as the Baltimore Sun's co-player of the year. He was the Washington Post All Met Basketball Player of the Year, McDonald's All-American, and a Parade First Team All-American in his senior year after averaging 21.2 points per game, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks.

Gay's college recruitment and decision to attend the University of Connecticutmarker over the University of Marylandmarker were controversial. Gay had expressed a desire to attend Maryland and said that he grew up rooting for the team, but he ultimately chose UConn. Because of the heavy involvement of an AAU coach and a high school coach, there was the appearance of impropriety, although no NCAA recruiting violations were discovered. The NCAA adopted the eponymous "Rudy Gay clause" after UConn paid $25,000 to schedule a game against the Beltway Ballers, an ad hoc AAU team that consisted of Gay's former teammates. Although it violated no standing rule at the time, media observers and Connecticut staff considered it directly connected to the recruitment. According to individuals close to Maryland head coach Gary Williams, the recruitment demonstrated that rule violations were necessary to secure highly touted players, which Williams said he is unwilling to do, even at the expense of recruiting.

College career

Throughout his college career, Gay was known for his high-flying dunks and versatility. He was a co-winner (with Jeff Green of Georgetown Universitymarker) of the 2005 Big East Conference Freshman of the Year award. Gay was also named the National Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News.

In the summer of 2005, Gay was invited to play for the USA's Men's Under-21 World Championship Team. He posted one double-double while averaging 10.5 points a game and 5.5 rebounds.

Before his sophomore season began, Gay was nominated as Big East Preseason player of the year, along with Syracusemarker star, Gerry McNamara. After the season concluded, Gay was one of four division one college players nominated for the Naismith College Player of the Year Award (along with J. J. Redick, Adam Morrison, and Allan Ray). Also, he was a unanimous selection to the Big East's First Team. He tallied his career high in points with 28 versus Arkansasmarker in the second game of the 2005–2006 season. Gay led the UConn Huskies to a 30–3 record, often the highest scorer, before losing to #11 seed George Mason in overtime, 86–84.

NBA career


Gay, widely regarded as one of the top future NBA prospects, announced on April 17 that he would enter the 2006 NBA Draft. He was selected with the 8th overall pick in the draft by the Houston Rockets. Gay was disappointed since he was picked later than expected.

Despite his drop in draft position, many teams still coveted him. Memphis Grizzlies' President of Basketball Operations Jerry West swung a deal to send Shane Battier to the Rockets in exchange for Stromile Swift and the rights to Gay.

Memphis Grizzlies

Gay averaged 10.8 points a game, although the Grizzlies won 22 games that season and missed the playoffs. In 2007–2008, his second season, Gay averaged 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, and after Pau Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers during the season, he became the team's leading scorer. But the Grizzlies still ended up with the same record as the previous year.

After his invitation to the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest, Gay and YouTube teamed up for the Rudy Gay Slam Dunk Contest promotion, in which he asked fans to upload footage of their best dunks for him to attempt during the contest. During the contest he performed a one handed reverse clutch dunk in the first round and during the second round teammate Mike Conley Jr. alley-ooped the ball off the bar and from behind the backboard Gay regathered and pulled off a windmill dunk. He ended with a score of 85 but did not advance to the second round. He was also asked to participate for the second time during the 2009 All-Star Weekend in the Slam Dunk Contest which he agreed to, but was soon replaced by J.R. Smith due to injuries.

After a disappointing 08-09 NBA season, Gay trained more efficiently. At July's USA Basketball mini-camp in Las Vegas, Gay led all scorers with 27 points in the intra-squad scrimmage. He made 11 of his 12 shots. He hit three of four 3-pointers.


2003–2004 (High School Senior)
  • 21.2 Points Per Game
  • 9.2 Rebounds Per Game
  • 3.7 Blocks Per Game

2004–2005 (UCONN Freshman)
  • 11.4 Points Per Game
  • 5.4 Rebounds Per Game
  • 1.5 Assists Per Game
  • 1.9 Blocks Per Game

2005–2006 (UCONN Sophomore)
  • 15.2 Points Per Game
  • 6.4 Rebounds Per Game
  • 2.1 Assists Per Game
  • 1.6 Blocks Per Game

NBA career

Regular season

78 43 27.0 .422 .364 .727 4.5 1.3 .9 .9 10.8
81 81 37.0 .461 .346 .785 6.2 2.0 1.4 1.0 20.1
79 78 37.3 .453 .351 .767 5.5 1.7 1.2 .8 18.9
238 202 33.8 .450 .351 .764 5.4 1.7 1.2 .8 16.7


  1. AAU's bad rap Many of college recruiting problems associated with summer camps not related to AAU ball, Republican-American, August 14, 2005.
  2. UConn's Gay shooting for stardom ; College basketball: Spalding's Rudy Gay is trying to join a long line of talented Baltimore-area players who achieved NCAA success, The Baltimore Sun, p. 1C, December 11, 2004.
  3. Hoyas rookie wins battle; Jeff Green gets edge on UConn's Gay, The Washington Times, January 9, 2005.
  5. Exhibition ban would eliminate cheat potential, perception, CBS Sports, November 7, 2003.
  6. A Whole New Ballgame That Williams Won't Play, The Washington Post, p. E1 and E9, February 13, 2009.

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