FARMINGTON – Lofty expectations were placed on Tycen Gray – perhaps unfairly – before he ever took the court for a varsity basketball game as a Farmington freshman.
The Knights were only a year removed from a fourth-place finish at the state tournament, and needed to establish a new inside presence after star center Jordan Ankrom graduated.
Gray soon became a consistent double-double threat as he continued to build strength, then developed into a more versatile offensive weapon as his perimeter shooting improved.
The rewards of hard work began to fully manifest this past winter, as individual and team accolades piled high for the Knights during a memorable 25-3 season.
Farmington was a fixture in the Class 4 coaches’ state poll, bolstered by its Sullivan, Central Christmas and MAAA conference tournament championships.
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After two previous chances to capture a district crown slipped away against Hillsboro in heart-breaking fashion, Gray and his senior classmates seized the elusive banner last month against Central.
On a roster known for its unselfish brand of play, Gray was recognized for his role in leading the Knights back to the state playoffs with selection among the MBCA all-state honorees.
He set new career records at Farmington with 1,757 points and 1,043 rebounds, and surpassed the scoring mark with a massive 29-point effort on 12-of-17 shooting in a home win over Jackson.
Gray was the lone player from an MAAA school chosen for all-state honors this season, and the first from Farmington since Ankrom in 2015.
Football will be his athletic focus moving forward. Gray signed as a receiving recruit with NCAA Division II program Missouri Western State in St. Joseph.