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Rutland girls basketball star: 'I'm doing it for him'

The Hurricanes' TyAsia Grayer is living her dream. She recently signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Middle Georgia State College.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - She grew up wanting to go to college in California, but when it got closer to decision time, she had a change of heart.

Rutland senior TyAsia Grayer knew from the time she starting playing basketball, she wanted to play at the college level.

"That's what we talk about in the locker room: 'We're going to win state championships.  We're going to win region championships and also sign off to college.'"

Grayer comes from a family full of basketball players.  Anderson Ligon, head women's basketball coach at MGSC, likes what he sees in her.

"We're looking to really use her skill set of playing the low post and also going out into the perimeter," he says.

Earlier this week, Grayer committed to play basketball at MGSC. It's just far enough away from Macon, but not too far.

"We did visit a college that was three or four hours away, and I was like, 'I don't think I can do this,'" she says.  "Just going back to see my family, just in case of an emergency or just when I want to see my mom."

Last November, TyAsia's dad. Tony, had a heart attack and passed away.  He's the reason she got into basketball in the first place.  If it weren't for him, she'd have been a cheerleader.

"He was like, 'You're way too tall to be a cheerleader,'" Melanie Grayer, TyAsia's mom says.

Losing your dad is tough for anyone, much more a high school senior, but TyAsia has persevered, emerging as a leader both on the court and in the classroom--where she has straight As--and also in her home.

"I don't know what I would do without her," Takori Grayer, her 14-year-old brother says.  "She's the backbone of my body."

It'll be a bittersweet day when she leaves this fall, but she's happy.  She's living her dream.

"Basketball is life," she says. "He (dad) always expressed, 'Basketball, basketball, basketball.  I'm doing it for him."

TyAsia plans to major in Biology and pursue a career in dentistry.  She leaves for Cochran in August.

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