This Q&A was originally published in Dime #71. Check your local newsstand now to see the feature in its entirety…
Grayson Boucher, aka The Professor, has been a fixture on the streetball scene since he joined the AND1 Mixtape tour in 2003. Known for his slick handle and long distance shooting, The Professor is now part of the Ball Up team and is continuing to spread the gospel of streetball by touring all over the country this summer. Although he has been injured for the majority of this year’s Ball Up tour, which is being televised on Fox Sports, he was in high spirits before the Boston tour stop when he sat down to talk to us about his career thus far and his future.
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Dime: For those that may not have followed your career since AND1, what have you been up to and what does the future look like for The Professor?
The Professor: I really haven’t stopped touring since my AND1 days ended. AND1 went off ESPN in 2008 and that point I think the show got bought out three or four times. I actually think it got bought out for a fifth time recently. It kept getting into the hands of people who didn’t know anything about basketball. It wasn’t like there was no market for it but it was just off ESPN. So I stayed touring for AND1, mainly internationally but there was no TV show.
So in 2011, I joined Ball Up because back in 2009, I met the Ball Up’s CEO Demetrius Spencer, and stayed in touch with him. We had a good discussion about how he wanted to do something similar to AND1 but wanted the business side of things to be right and wanted to make the tour the main entity, instead of the merchandising like it was with AND1. Its been going great so far.
I have been doing some acting and have been doing ballhanding clinics for kids for the last couple of years and am looking to expand on that. I am just trying to keep all doors open and see where God takes me.
Dime: From growing up in Oregon…
The Professor: I’m from Keiser, Oregon. It is about an hour south of Portland.
Dime: …Gotta represent. How has the whole experience of traveling internationally and basically being able to play basketball for a living been like coming from a small town like Keiser?
The Professor: It’s been awesome man. It gave me a new perspective on life and I got to see how different cultures around the world get down. I think I have been to 40 different countries or something like that. Being able to do something that I love and live is just great.
Dime: Are you able to predict how an opponent will play because of where they are from? Do you able to gameplan beforehand knowing how a geographical area usually plays?
The Professor: The West Coast always has good shooters and I think it’s because there are a lot of gyms. It is not as streetball-driven. In the South, there are a lot of good hoopers but they are more known for their athleticism, like they usually got a lot of hops. The Midwest are known for being hard-nosed streetball players. The East Coast is known for ballhandling because streetball is big.
I know all of this because it reflects directly in whom we play. Even on our team, take a look at Springs, who’s from the Midwest. He’s a super hard-nosed player, got ton of heart and can pretty much do anything he wants on the court. Pat the Roc is from the East Coast; he’s all handle. It’s crazy how it directly reflects. Let’s take me for example; I’m from the Northwest. I got handle but I can shoot as well.