Grayson Boucher has spent the last eight years of his life playing professional streetball in over 18 countries around the world. Not at all an expected career path for an underdog point guard from Keizer, Oregon. Best known now as The Professor, Boucher played JV basketball on his high school team as a junior and was a walk on at his local community college.
In 2003, he traveled to Portland to play in front of the And1 Street Ballers. After playing in a few observed, tryout type games with fellow Portlandiers, Boucher was picked to play against the And 1 team inside of the Rose Garden. He was impressive enough in the game to be selected to travel with the team on their nationally televised tour and eventually signed And1 as a sponsor.
“My goal had always been to play professionally. This was a little different than what I had planned but still incredible at the same time. My life changed dramatically because of the exposure on ESPN. People wanted autographs and pictures all the time. ” Boucher continued, “But now I was expected to hold down my name every time I touched the court instead of being the underdog. That was a transition for me that was hard to accept at first.”
Since being an “18 year old kid” with a nice handle, The Professor has developed into one of the most respected street ballers in the world. He also had the chance to star in a movie, release date TBD, that features performances from Ludacris and Nick Cannon.
His natural finesse on the court has transitioned nicely into his street ball game where the expectations are much different than a community college basketball game.
“Playing street ball is harder than playing regular basketball, because you still have to win and be competitive but you also have to put on a show,” he said. “I’ve always worked on moved based (drills), but now I focus on more moved based (drills) that will help me move the crowd. Which is different, especially in 2011 because everybody’s seen so many moves now. If you’re going to do something it has to be something the people have never seen…You might have to throw it through someone’s legs twice now.”
Through ups and downs the last eight years, he’s remained busy working at clinics and playing in games. He still has an active relationship with And1 and is excited about a new opportunity he has with Ball Up Street Ball. The new company signed a deal with FOX Sports for a 10 episode season. The basketball season kicks off with a Celebrity All-Star Game on February 19th in Venice Bench. The television series will begin airing on April 3rd.
“Being in Street ball for the last 8 years I feel like I have a free business degree. I’ve learned to be patient, to not burn any bridges, to keep people close who you trust business wise, and really just market and put yourself out there. And keep your game top notch. ”
For more information about the upcoming Ball Up Streetball season airing on FOX Sports go to www.ballupstreetball.com.