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Gregory L. Grady0

Posted on December 4th, 2015 in Uncategorized

Mr. Gregory L. Grady

Mr. Gregory L. Grady

Mr. Gregory L. Grady

James “J.T.” Thomas/Heart of A Champion – 2015

Gregory L. Grady was born and raised in the Buschwick Housing Projects in Brooklyn, New York.  He attended Eastern District High School where he earned “All City” and “All American” Athlete honors.  After being recruited by over 375 colleges and universities, in 1972, Greg chose to attend the Florida State University (FSU) on a full basketball scholarship. He was the first freshman to play varsity basketball at FSU and the first and only player to have a perfect game of scoring 25 points with making every shot attempted. Greg received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Mass Communications.  He went on to play professional basketball overseas with the French Federation for five years.

Greg was directed back to Tallahassee to become a member of the City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Team.  In 1980 Greg became the Assistant Supervisor at the Walker-Ford Community Center, working alongside his friend and fellow FSU alumnus, Center Supervisor Joe Thomas.  This would prove to be a formidable team in changing the community for the better and the lives that lived therein.

Greg eventually transitioned from Walker-Ford to become the Supervisor of the Jake Gaither Community Center, and then to his current Parks and Recreation home, the Lawrence-Gregory Community Center at Dade Street and the LeVerne Payne Community Center at 4th Avenue.

Although we will never know all of the sacrifices he has made, his value has not gone unnoticed.  In the late 1990’s Greg was recognized by the Tallahassee Police Department for his assistance with a dangerous situation involving an arrest in which the suspect gained the upper hand. Understanding the implications if the suspect was able to obtain the officer’s gun and thinking of the Center participants’ safety, he jumped to action and subdued the suspect until the officer regained his composure and backup arrived.  Other recognition received by Greg include: 2001 AM South Bank Hero of the Black Community Award; Youth Track, Inc. 2002 Volunteer of the Year Award; 2005 Citizen of the Year by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. for putting his life at risk after entering a family’s burning home. He was also recognized for this heroic act and given an award by Former Mayor John Marks for exemplary action taken by a City employee; 2006 received the Lester Blakely Memorial Award for dedication and commitment; 2006 Smith-Williams Service Center Hero Award; 2009 received James Hudson Humanitarian and Citizenship award from the Tallahassee Chapter of the NAACP; 2014 received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award by the Inter–Civic Council of the Southern Christian Leadership Council.

Greg is a devoted husband to Mrs. Annie Grady and a loving father to Gregory II, Nicole and Andrea. He also helped raise his niece, Deanne.  In his time away from the Centers he serves as a Deacon at the Tabernacle Church of Christ Written in Heaven, Inc. in Gretna, Florida.  He is also the Recreational Coordinator for the National and Diocese Youth Departments of the same Church.

The words Gregory Grady lives by are few but powerful: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) And, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)