Professional Air Hockey - Player Profile
This page was last updated Tuesday, February 08, 2005 07:55 AM

 

Player Profile:  David Gray

Born: March, 1969
First Tournament: Summer, 1991
Dominant Hand: Right
Mallet Preference: Soft/Flat-top
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 155 lbs.

California

Pose from the 2000 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada
Now say, "Ahhh"

The Cain's and I are also friends and roommates.  Dec. '98
Hanging out with Joe and Christine Cain after the 1998 State Championships

Heavenly Valley in Tahoe -- GREAT stress relief.  But not on this run!
New Year's Day, 2000 -- Still recovering from the State Championships

Player History

  1991 - National 30+ Place Overall [San Jose, CA]
  1993 - National 3rd Place Amateur Division [Santa Cruz, CA]
  1994 - National 4th Place Amateur Division [Santa Clara, CA]
  1995 - National 2nd Place Amateur Division [Littleton, CO]
  1996 - National 30+ Place Overall [Houston, TX]
  1998 - California State 5th Place Overall [Cameron Park, CA]
  1998 - US Open 29th Place Overall [Santa Cruz, CA]
  1999 - World Championship 22nd Place Overall [Arlington, TX]
  1999 - California State 10th Place Overall [Cameron Park, CA]
  2000 - World Championship 19th Place Overall [Las Vegas, NV]
  2001 - World Championship 24th Place Overall [Houston, TX]
  2003 - World Championship 13th Place Overall [Las Vegas, NV]
  2003 - Colorado State 9th Place Overall [Denver, CO]
  2003 - Texas State 1st Place Division 1 Champion [Houston, TX]
  2005 - California State 3rd Place Overall [Morgan Hill, CA]
 

Personal Notes:

"I started playing Air Hockey in local tournaments in my hometown of Antioch, CA.  We usually had about 8-12 people participating and I was fortunate enough to win an events which "sent me" to my first National competition.

The owner of the establishment [Golf 'N' Games] directed me and my friend Joe Cain (another current California Professional) to attend the 1991 USAA sanctioned event -- the Nationals in San Jose at Keystone Entertainment Center.

I quickly realized that I was no match for the extremely talented players who demonstrated control, power, endurance, agility and accuracy.

In 1994, I began to participate in weekly professional tournaments held at Keystone in Santa Clara.  Although I lived two hours away in Sacramento, I rarely missed an event.  I knew that the best players in the State would all be there to challenge my skills and improve my game.

During a National tournament in Houston, I was again amazed at the level of play.  In Texas, there is a much larger number of extremely talented players.  When I left (defeated), I again knew that I needed to crank up my skills to "the next level".

In the 1998 Nationals which were held at Santa Cruz, CA, I reached a personal goal of finishing in the top 30.  A relatively simple goal, but still a "met" goal.  I was eliminated by #2 Wil Upchurch (4-1) and #8 Phil Arnold (4-2).  It was at that tournament which I felt much closer to reaching the level of skill that I wanted.

Since then, I've endured heavy practice sessions, weekly tournaments and long challenge matches.

I currently run this Nationally based Air Hockey website called simply:  "AHN" which is an acronym for "Air Hockey News".  Initially, it was here that I wanted California players to learn about what's going on in Air Hockey news, know where they stand as individuals and as a team and see how the sport is growing in our wonderful state.  The site expanded in November, 2000 to accommodate a more National flavor.

I tend to get involved heavily with the sport and speak with players across the country on a regular basis.  We share advice and continue to grow our skills.  I've learned to play hard, play serious, stay focused and strain to score every point on every shot -- or capture the puck when my opponent is attempting to do the same.  My drive is charged with experience, passion, adrenaline and the desire to learn from mistakes while playing the best that I can.

Air Hockey is truly a strategic game, more so then a "hit it and hope" game as a casual on-looker may initially perceive.  My personal feeling is that Air Hockey is a combination of speed, accuracy, deceptiveness, intuitiveness, sheer control and a solid trust in one's own abilities.  At the same time, it can be 100% entertainment."