Gross a rare two-sport athlete for Hornets

Trey Gross (11) made his basketball debut on Dec. 16 after playing on the football team last season as a wide receiver. (DSU sports information)

DOVER — Trey Gross had some dreams about being a two-sport athlete in college.

But the Delaware State University junior knew just how far-fetched that dream can be nowadays.

“It was always an idea,” Gross said. “But we never knew if the right time was going to come.”

Gross is in fact a rare-breed this season.

The football wide receiver joined the Hornet men’s basketball team earlier this month. He has played in three games so far after trading in his shoulder pads for high-tops.

Gross became the first Hornet student-athlete to compete in football and basketball in the same season since Jeff Postell in 2007.

When Gross made his basketball debut on Dec. 16 against the University of Delaware, he became the first Hornet student-athlete to compete in football and basketball in the same season since Jeff Postell in 2007.

“He’s a great athlete and a great kid so when he said he wanted to play we were excited,” said DSU basketball coach Eric Skeeters. “He brings energy. He’s got a big, strong body. We got him working with our bigs.”

Gross was a three-sport standout at Annapolis High in Maryland, staring in football, basketball plus track and field. He earned his team’s Most Valuable Player award in both football and basketball.

Gross was recruited to Delaware State to play football, earning a scholarship at the end of his freshman season. It put his basketball dreams on hold.

Through some conversations with the Hornet basketball team over the last year, Gross began considering if he could pull off being a two-sport collegiate athlete.

“It was a mutual thing with me, the coach and the players,” Gross said. “We’ve crossed paths a couple times and talked about some stuff. It ended up happening, got approved from the football coaches and I wasn’t going to do this unless I got their approval.”

Hornet football coach Rod Milstead did have the final say, giving Gross his blessing and signing off on him beginning practice with the basketball squad after football season ended in late November.

“He gave him the green light and I thank Rod for that,” Skeeters said. “As soon as football season ended, he came right over.”

Gross has given the Hornet basketball team some more depth in the frontcourt. He played 11 minutes in his debut, grabbing two rebounds and scoring the first points of his career on a jumper from the foul-line.

Gross followed that up with two more points against Jacksonville State in 12 minutes of action before playing 25 minutes against St. Francis on Sunday where he scored four points and recorded three rebounds — both career-highs.

A lot of Gross’ skills as a wide receiver translate to the basketball court, he says.

“It helps me in more situations than less,” Gross said. “I’ve just got to keep progression. The most difficult part right now is learning all the plays. Of course, that will come the more I run them.”