Former Kennesaw State basketball standout Kendrick Ray scored 16 points to help his current team AEK Athens to a 61-57 victory on Sunday, Feb. 16, in the final of the Greek Basketball Cup.
Ray led all scorers in the championship match against Promitheas Patras, according to Eurobasket. For AEK Athens, the win marked the team’s fifth GBC title and second in the past three years.
“[It] felt pretty good to make my mark offensively after the past few games having not been able to hit a shot,” Ray said. “I just kept shooting and the shots went in when they mattered.”
Since leaving KSU in 2017, Ray landed spots on two NBA Summer League rosters and has found success on the European circuit.
The former First-Team All-Atlantic Sun Conference selection started out his professional career with Czech Republic side CEZ Nymburk, where he helped his team to a league title. Ray also made the Czech league’s All-Star team that year, according to his profile on Eurobasket.
After earning a spot on the Summer League roster of the Utah Jazz in 2018, Ray played for Israeli side Maccabi Tel-Aviv before moving to French team Le Mans Sarthe, as reported by the Sentinel. His efforts in Europe helped him to another Summer League spot in 2019, this time with the Boston Celtics.
Since then, Ray has featured for AEK Athens both in the league and the international tournament Basketball Champions League.
“My role on AEK has been different from past teams in regards to my offensive role,” Ray said. “This year I am more of a playmaker trying to show I am capable of … making the right plays and decisions for me and my teammates.”
Ray’s nuanced role on AEK Athens can be shown by his variety of scoring and assisting over the course of this season, which still has a significant amount remaining. The team will continue play this season in the BCL and the Greek Basket League.
“My approach to all games is the same because every team we play is good, and you can get beat on any night if you are not focused,” Ray said. “But I still will score if I have to for us to win.”
While Ray is currently focused on improving his skills and his role on AEK Athens, he will have another interesting summer ahead of him. A third Summer League roster spot is a possibility.
“The season is still going on, as we have playoffs for the regular season and Basketball Champions League,” Ray said. “But after that, I definitely have to look at my options and see what is best for my career.”
Also present on the roster of AEK Athens during the Greek Basketball Cup final was former NBA player and two-time Finals champion Mario Chalmers, according to the team’s website.