Louisiana native Josh Gray's basketball odyssey finally led him back to his home state.
The well-traveled, multi-talented Odessa (Texas) College point guard told TigerBait.com on Wednesday night that he'd signed his letter of intent to play for LSU.
"I signed my letter of intent tonight," Gray said. "I'm very excited and thrilled that I'm coming back home to play in front of my family and friends. It's been my dream school but I just never got the opportunity to sign with them. Everything happens for a reason but I'm happy."
Gray (6-1, 175) committed to LSU coaches Johnny Jones and David Patrick earlier in the evening and capped the Tigers early signing class at four.
Gray joined center Elbert Robinson (7-1, 290) of Garland, Texas-Centennial Lakeview, forward Aaron Epps (6-9, 185) of Tioga and guard Jalyn Patterson (6-1, 170) of Montverde (Fla.) Academy.
"They are some great guys," he said. "I felt like they were so great, I could trust them with my career. I want to go play for them because I can trust them and they have something great going on at LSU."
Gray played as a sophomore at Washington-Marion in Lake Charles, La., before stops at Humble Christian Life Center Academy and Wheatley High in Houston as a junior and senior.
Gray originally signed with Mississippi State but left when Rick Stansbury lost his job. He landed at Texas Tech where he averaged 9.3 points and 3.2 assists as a freshman, but another coaching shuffle led him to Odessa.
"Aw man, it's been unbelievable," said Gray, who also committed and de-committed from Florida State this fall. "I've all been around the world."
Gray had a passionate response when asked about his many moves.
"At the end of the day, it's my life and my decision," he said. "If I'm not comfortable with stuff, I'm not going to do it."
Gray is certainly comfortable at Odessa, where he's averaging 37.3 points and 7.0 assists through nine games. He's topped 40 points five times with high games of 61 and 59 points.
Gray sees himself as an ideal fit for the up-tempo game Jones employs at LSU.
"I've seen Coach Jones coach at North Texas," Gray said. "I've been knowing Coach Jones and seen how he plays. Then again, my family is there and they can see me play. It's good on both sides."
A former Rivals prep three-star standout, Gray averaged 24 points, six assists and three steals at Wheatley as a senior. He was rated as the nation's 107th best player and No. 16 point guard by Rivals.
Gray said Marquette, Illinois, Missouri, Louisville, Florida State, Providence and Western Kentucky were among the schools recruiting him this year.
"I made some mistakes when I was young and had to leave the state to get my life together," he said. "I've grown and gotten more mature and stable in life. My grandmother is getting old, my dad has heart problems, my mother passed away when I was 16 and my little brothers and friends never get a chance to see my play. I had an opportunity to play with LSU so I didn't want to waste any more coaches' time. I just wrapped it up tonight because in my heart it's what I wanted to do."
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