LONGVIEW (KYTX) - A former east Texas basketball star returned home this week -- speaking to dozens of high school students in Longview.
"Where you come from does not determine where you are going," said 1998 Pine Tree High School graduate Keith L. Gray to students at his alma mater Friday morning. Gray was a Washington metro cop for five years, after getting his bachelor's degree on a basketball scholarship to American University, and later getting his master's degree at the University of South Florida.
In August, he worked security detail at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Now, he's entering politics.
Released by Pine Tree ISD
A native of Longview, Texas, Keith L. Gray attended American University on a full athletic scholarship and received a Bachelor's of Arts in Justice after graduating from Pine Tree High School. Raised in a single parent household, Keith's mother instilled the value of education. Keith's passion for education led him to begin working at the University of South Florida as an administrator and instructor.
Gray received his Masters of Education at USF while working to impact the lives of young men and women. As an administrator, he was responsible for ensuring minority students were able to gain access to and matriculate through college. Many of the students that were counseled by Keith, and admitted to colleges, were first generation attendees.
Keith wanted to do more to bolster his ability to serve his community so he enrolled in a Master's of Education program at the University of South Florida. Keith's passion for working with students from tough backgrounds led him to a career in law enforcement, where he served for a number of years as Police Officer with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C.
As an officer, Keith became responsible for ensuring the safety and security of two recreation centers in while serving as a mentor to many of the youth who attended the centers. He also partnered with other divisions within the department to organize basketball clinics across the city in an effort to open the lines of communication between police and the community's youth.
Keith, a father of three, is committed to excellence, whether it has been on the court, in the community, or through mentoring youth. It was never a part of Keith's plan to run for public office until he fully realized the impact that legislators have on policies that impact the everyday lives of young adults and struggling families. Keith wants to help lead District 26 forward by empowering youth, protecting senior citizens, and working to ensure that all members of his community have a safe, clean and peaceful place to live.
Keith and his wife April, a podiatrist with Unity Community Healthcare, reside in Fort Washington where they attend Ebeneezer AME Church and are active in the Maplewood Civic Association, NAACP, and mentoring neighborhood youth.