Head Coach Neil McGuire, Amaya and Anysa Gray, and Assoc. AD of DEIBJ Ty-Ron Douglas at Oracle Park
Amaya and Anysa Gray Honored For Perseverance Through Personal Hardship
SACRAMENTO – Twin sisters Amaya and Anysa Gray of the California women’s soccer team were named the recipients of the 2023 CalHOPE Courage Award, the organization announced Wednesday afternoon. The Golden Bears were honored on the field at Oracle Park last night in a pregame presentation before a San Francisco Giants home game.
The CalHOPE Courage Award, presented by College Sports Communicators and CalHOPE, recognizes student-athletes who have shown great courage in the face of mental health issues caused by personal hardship and adversity. During each month of the academic year, the organizations nominated two student-athletes from around the state, with the Grays nomination coming back in October 2022.
As this year’s winners, the Grays earned a $5,000 donation in their names to a charity of their choosing. They have chosen to award that donation to the Therapy Black Girls organization, which seeks to fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues and therapy that prevent black women from taking the step of seeing a therapist and improving their mental health.
The Grays experienced poverty and homelessness in their childhoods growing up in a single-parent household during a time when drugs and violence plagued their hometown of East Palo Alto. They found soccer to be a dependable outlet for them, and despite the adversity, managed to excel both in the classroom and on the field until they found a home at Cal.
As they get ready to enter their senior seasons with the Bears, the forwards have made a significant impact on the team, playing in a combined 99 matches with seven goals and 16 points between them.