Super 5 girls basketball: Holland Hall's Gabby Gregory rose to top of state's players while making a statement
TULSA — A month ago, Holland Hall senior Gabby Gregory grabbed her cell phone and opened Twitter with a new purpose.
She had seen the earlier messages about being named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. She had already shed joyful tears.
Now, it was time to make a statement.
“Being named the Oklahoma Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year has been a goal of mine since I was little,” Gregory typed. “No better day to receive this award than on #InternationalWomensDay girls: never let a male belittle your accomplishments because they are threatened by your success #Playlikeagirl.”
She hit send.
As Gregory has risen to the top of the ranks in Oklahoma high school girls basketball, she’s worked to prove girls can be just as powerful as boys by both her actions on and off the court.
The Oklahoman’s Super 5 Player of the Year feels like she’s made her point.
Gregory, who will play at Oklahoma, finished her dynamic career with 2,699 career points, which is eighth all-time on the 5-on-5 scoring list. She’s one of only four players to reach 2,500 career points and 1,000 rebounds. This season, she averaged 23.6 points and 10.3 rebounds.
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She’s also played on the international level with an Adidas USA Team.
Few players in the state — male or female — can come close to those accomplishments.
“People need to respect girls basketball as much as boys basketball,” Gregory said. “A lot of people when you are a female athlete they try to belittle you by saying you just play girls basketball.
“A boy thinks since they can dunk they’re a better basketball player than you. That’s not true at all.”
Gregory, the youngest of three children, grew up with a desire to prove she was the best. She watched her sister play years ago at Sapulpa High School and dreamed of being the Gatorade Player of the Year.
But when she entered Holland Hall as a freshman a year after moving back from Texas, she started to study feminism.
Gregory decided she had even more to prove.
“I think that she takes a lot of pride in the fact that she works harder than anybody else at the school,” said Gene Gregory, Gabby’s father.
Gregory has seen the world change. She cried the first time she saw a recent Nike commercial focusing on female athletes’ accomplishments. She cheered when Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu spoke up about the lack of national women’s basketball coverage.
It’s Gregory’s mission at OU to continue leading change.
“A lot of boys don’t like girls to be in power,” Gregory said. “They think if I’m successful that doesn’t make them as good of an athlete. In reality, a lot of people at my school wouldn’t want to admit I’m the best athlete in my school. Where if I was a boy, my gosh, no doubt I’d be.
“That really bothers me.”