Evans and Gray attend basketball Captains Academy
RaiQuan Evans and RayQuan Gray, who helped Florida State win the 2020 ACC Championship, participated in the Sixth Annual Athletes in Action Captains Academy for college level basketball captains and emerging leaders. It was held virtually for the first time.
The event attracted 89 players from 49 different universities engaged in leadership training activities over a three-day period in mid-May.
The purpose of the Captains Academy is to equip, empower, and encourage student-athletes to be competent, confident, and effective team leaders. Participants learned about the importance of becoming a netter leader among their teammates. Among the featured speakers were David Nurse, an NBA life optimization coach, and Clark Kellogg, a featured CBS sports college basketball analyst. Kellogg shared his personal story of leadership with the participant. Trey Moses, who played college basketball at Ball State and the 2020 NCAA Inspiration Award winner, spoke to the group on mental health and the many pressures college athletes are facing related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Evans, who completed his first season as a Seminole in 2020, averaged 3.2 points and 1.8 assists in 29 games. He scored his career-high of eight points in Florida State’s 99-81victory over Miami on February 8, 2020.
“A quote I took away from the academy was ‘when it comes to leading you have to be others-centered,’ meaning becoming a leader just isn’t about yourself,” said Evans. “The biggest thing I learned was how important relationships are and how that can have a major benefit when it comes to leading your teammates.”
Gray completed his redshirt sophomore season as he averaged a career-high 6.0 points and a career-high 3.8 rebounds. He started 24 of the Seminoles’ 31 games and scored his career-high of 13 points in Florida State’s 85-84 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 25.
“The most important idea I took away was being able to communicate effectively within your team,” said Gray. “Relationships go hand in hand with the ideas you share with your teammates.”
The student-athletes were broken up into groups of eight-10 and engaged in leadership case studies before practicing leadership principles with their peers. The dynamic of small group interaction gave the players new tools for personal growth and allows them to take the next steps in practicing the interpersonal skills necessary for increased leadership roles. Conflict resolution and engaging in difficult conversations were among skills introduced to the group.
Evans and Gray were joined by Clemson’s Aamir Simms, Clyde Trapp and Jonathan Eric Baehre as participants in the Captains Academy from the ACC.