The family of T. Douglas “Doug” Grayson, a basketball legend who still holds an NCAA record, who also was a beloved teacher and father, will celebrate his life after he died Nov. 30.
He was 77.
Grayson made an impact in many areas including as a teacher and coach at both Elyria City Schools and Lorain City Schools, after an impressive basketball career in high school and college.
Grayson was born in Lorain in 1946 and went to local schools including Admiral King High School, where he became a basketball star.
His consistent heroics for the school, including a school record 39 point game against rival Lorain High School, eventually earned Grayson an induction into the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame.
Grayson went on to play for Kent State University, appearing in 71 games from his sophomore to senior seasons averaging 15.8 points per game, which earned him an induction into the Kent State Hall of Fame in 1989.
Grayson’s most notable single achievement at Kent State was setting the record for consecutive field goals made in a single game with 16 in a row against North Carolina, which was ranked second in the nation at the time. That record still stands.
He finished that game 18-19 and 5-5 at the free throw line for 41 points.
Grayson earned second-team Mid-American Conference honors in each of his three varsity seasons and was captain his senior year.
He’s a member of the 1,000 point club with 1,113 in three seasons and was the team MVP in 1968.
Grayson’s daughter Tierney Grayson said her father was the last person to bring up such accomplishments.
“He was so humble,” she said. “You would never know that he had all these great accomplishments because he never talked about them.”
After college, Grayson returned home and was a teacher and coach for both Elyria Schools and Lorain Schools.
Tierney Grayson said her father impacted countless people through his work.
“I still run into people to this day who say he inspired people to believe if they work hard and do what was needed, they can achieve they’re dreams and get to those higher heights,” she said.
Tierney Grayson said she also admires his decision to come back and teach and coach in his home area.
“He wanted to go back and make a difference,” she said. “He could have probably gone anywhere, but he wanted to come back to his community that gave so much to him.
“He wanted to go and make the next generation better.”
Tierney Grayson said Doug was a great father as well.
“He was always so supportive,” she said. “Growing up, he never forced us to get into basketball; he just wanted us to do things that made us happy.
“He was always there and providing strength. He just had such a care and compassion for people.”
Elyria community activist Aric Bowens remembers Grayson, his former teacher and role model.
“Doug Grayson was my seventh-grade Language Arts teacher,” Bowens said. “He was my first African American male teacher and he had a powerful effect on our class.
“Mr. Grayson spoke very eloquently and killed any stereotypes we had about speaking properly. Mr. Grayson was also the girls basketball coach. Me being an athlete, never heard him speak of his great college basketball contributions at Kent State until I was in high school.
“He was very humble, polite but to the point. He will be missed.”
Doug Grayson also served as president and recording secretary of the Lorain County Alliance of Black School Educators, also known as LCABSE.
Dr. Jerome M. Davis, superintendent of Clearview Local Schools, remembers Grayson calling it a privilege and an honor knowing him.
“He was one of the kindest men I have ever known,” Davis recalls. “He was an avid promoter of students, especially students of color through his work with LCABSE.
“Before I became a member, he would always enlighten me about the programs LCABSE offered and would constantly encourage me to get involved.
“He is one of the reasons that I became more active and eventually ended up being president of LCABSE. Although Doug had retired, his determination to serve and promote education remained faithful. It did not matter what the program or activity was, Doug was always one to volunteer his services … and he did it effortlessly.
“I truly appreciate his commitment and dedication to LCABSE and students of color throughout this county. He is a great man who smiled, laughed and made you laugh despite the situation. He was definitely an inspiration for me to look up to as a fellow educator.”
Survivors include daughters Tierney and Asha Grayson.
Services for Grayson will take place Dec. 9 at Second Baptist Church, 427 Chapman Lane in Elyria.
Public viewing will be at 10 a.m. and the funeral will start at noon.