Grayson

Melyia Grayson has been named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team as announced by the league on Monday morning.

“We are very proud of Melyia,” head coach Joye Lee-McNelis said of Grayson’s recognition. “She has some very special abilities and is preparing to etch her name in the Southern Miss record books. Her basketball IQ is one of the best I have been around at her position.”

The hometown product ranks second on the squad in scoring, averaging 9.2 points per game, while leading the Lady Eagles in rebounds, having pulled down 97 boards on the season for a 6.1 rebound per game average. Grayson also accounts for nearly half of the team’s total blocks, having swatted away 19 shots on the year.

The Hattiesburg native burst onto the scene in the closing half of her first collegiate game, scoring 10 second-half points against Nicholls. The next day, Grayson recorded her first 20-point game, going for 21 against the Crusaders of William Carey, while just missing recording her first career double-double with eight rebounds in the contest. The efforts earned her Freshman of the Week honors by the conference, as she took home the first weekly award for Southern Miss since teammate Kelsey Jones in 2019.

In her first career start, Grayson helped the Lady Eagles hand Middle Tennessee just their 15th loss at home under head coach Rick Insell in conference play. She finished with eight points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Grayson had 16 points and a career-high four blocks in the first game of the series with the Blue Raiders, en route to her second Freshman of the Week honor.

The first double-double of her career finally came against North Texas, as Grayson recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes.

She has led the team in rebounding in six contests, while being the leading scorer in four games.

Grayson becomes the 12th Lady Eagle all-time to take home All-Freshman honors, and the first since Shonte Hailes during the 2016-17 season.

“On day one, she bought into our mentality and has stayed true to the course. Coach (Stephanie) Reed, her position coach, has challenged her to continue to add to her game.

“We believe in Melyia and are happy for her to be recognized by our C-USA coaches and media,” McNelis added.

Grayson and her teammates will take on FIU in the opening round of the 2021 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Basketball Championships by Baylor, Scott & White Medical Center Frisco on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. CT at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas.