UTM: Jeffrey Grace III graces the court and his teammates

Danielle Stockwell, Sports Editor

Senior Jeffrey Grace III drives to the basket for a layup against Chris Hodges in the 2019 Jack Tosh tournament. Hoping to step on to the court one last time Grace remembers the outstanding feeling of being in the Green and White Gym. “Running out onto the court in high school is like no other you get such a fast adrenaline rush that gets you going,” Grace said “Hearing all the people cheering for you. I couldn’t ask for better fans, it’s the best feeling in high school sport.” (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Grace III)

Jeffrey Grace with an outstanding rebound, the crowd goes wild! Senior Jeffrey Grace III began competing with York’s varsity basketball team when he was a freshman. He proved himself and made varsity his first year of high school. He is a player who continues to arrive with heart and work ethic since day one, but nothing beats the outstanding teammate he has been over the years. 

“I have had the honor to play with the best teams throughout my York career,” Grace said. “The people before me show me the ways of how to approach things on and off the court and that has helped me as a leader to bring my knowledge to the teams I play with.” 

While learning to become a better leader from his teammates, Grace approaches each game with an open mindset, allowing him to take away other lessons from being on the court most of his life. 

“The things basketball has taught me is there are ups and downs, success and failure, endless challenges and obstacles,” Grace said. You got to learn how to tackle similar situations you have to face in life: just honored to play the sport.” 

Not only has Grace been admired to play basketball, but teammates have been appreciative to play with a teammate who is so dedicated and motivated to help others improve their game, along with his. 

“He’s always the first one on the floor, giving the players high fives before a timeout because all he wants is to see his teammates succeed,” senior Tyler Olsen said. “But, like no joke, the best teammate I’ve ever had. He takes being a good teammate more seriously than being a good player.” 

Grace is a teammate that has impacted everyone on the court around him over the past four years, but his individual improvements do not go unrecognized. Many are even hoping Grace takes his hard work and leadership skills to the next level. 

“He is the ultimate teammate that always puts others before himself,” Coach Dunn said. “He is a relentless worker that strives to improve as a student-athlete every day. He has a great future ahead of him at the collegiate level and will be successful in whatever he strives to achieve.”

Being on varsity since freshman year, Grace gained the opportunity to play with individuals older than him, but, now, he has had the opportunity to impact a younger player who has followed his footsteps throughout his high school career. 

“[Grace] is someone I’ve looked up to even before high school,” junior Nick Hesh said “I knew him through travel programs as well. Being on the court with him makes me a better player, it is easy to be motivated and play hard when he is your teammate.” 

Grace’s talent has brought him a long way, but being the leader he is today creates an unforgettable story for himself and the teammates that he has the opportunity to help grow and push to carry on his leadership when it comes time to go to the collegiate level.

 “What it means to be a good teammate putting your team before you it’s not just about you, it’s about doing what you have to do for the brothers that are beside you,” Grace said “It’s never about the number of points you score, it’s always about what I can do to help my team win. The thing I will miss most about high school basketball is the culture around it. The fans are the best out there and I can’t thank them enough. I have been blessed with the opportunity to play with the boys and York basketball.”