Monday, June 23, 2008

Sterling Gibbs- Hard Work Could Make Him a Star

Seton Hall Prep (NJ) is losing one Gibbs, but has another one that seems to have a bright future. Ashton Gibbs will be heading to Pitt next year, leaving the squad to his younger brother Sterling Gibbs, a rising sophomore. The younger of the two is a 6'1 point guard, and is a well thought of player. At the Hoop Group Showcase this weekend, I had the opportunity to see the younger Gibbs play. I also was able to speak with Sterling after his team defeated Lakewood (NJ).

NB: What do you consider to be the strongest point of your game?
SG: Playmaking, getting everybody involved, getting everybody in the flow of the game.

NB: What’s your weakest point?
SG: My strength, quickness, and just [my] pull-up jump-shot.

NB: What are you doing to work on those three attributes of your game?
SG: Oh, just working out everyday at Sports University with players like Andre Barrett and different big-time players to try to get stronger and better.

NB: What’s it like for you [to be] working out with those guys, being just a freshman . . . [and] now a soon-to-be sophomore, working out with some big names?
SG: Oh, it’s good. They mentor, they just the stuff that I’m doing wrong, and then at the same time it gets you confidence up, that when you play against kids your age, then you just kind of dominate.

NB: Do you ever work out with your brother [Ashton Gibbs ‘08, a Pitt-signee]?
SG: Oh yeah, I . . . work out with him all the time.

NB: What do you see as some of the similarities and differences between your game and his?
SG: I don’t really think that we play anything alike. He’s more of a spot-up shooter, he’ll shoot it in your face, but I’m more of a playmaker, and then mainly I hit the shot if I’m open.

NB: What colleges are you currently considering?
SG: Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Florida, and Maryland.

NB: Have any of them offered you a scholarship?
SG: Oh no, I haven’t had any scholarship offers yet.

NB: Is Ashton being at Pittsburgh going to impact your decision in any way?
SG: I can’t really say yes to that question because I won’t know until the time comes around.

NB: Will the way he performs at Pittsburgh have an impact in what you think of the school?
SG: No, I can’t say yes because we don’t play anything alike, . . . his style of play is different than mine.

NB: Do you have a dream school?
SG: My dream school . . . would be Arizona because they’re more of a guard-based school.

NB: If the Wildcats were to start getting involved with you and down the road they did offer you a scholarship, is that the kind of thing that you’d jump at on the spot?
SG: I would have to measure the decision because I would have to see how many guards they have, how many guards [I would be] coming in with, and different things like that.

NB: Does all the turnover in their program worry you at all, . . . with [it] being your dream school?
SG: Not really, not really, I can’t really say yes to that.

NB: Have you received a letter from them or anything of that matter?
SG: Oh yeah, that was my first college letter that I received, in eighth grade that I received from them.

NB: What was that like for you?
SG: Oh, it was exciting, it was exciting. I got it in the mail and then told my dad about it. Everybody got excited.

NB: What are you looking to accomplish throughout your high school career?
SG: Win a TOC [Tournament of Champions] Championship. That’s the main thing I want to do.

NB: What about personally?
SG: I don’t really have any personal goals. I just want to win the TOC Championship, and that would be good for me.

The Seton Hall Prep (NJ) point guard is clearly a talented player with the ability to put the ball in the hoop. Yet, it is also clear that he has a lot left to work on to be the player that he can be. Right now, he is just a solid guard, though it is hard to fully judge his playmaking and distribution skills as he is not on a particularly great team. Gibbs will be a player to keep an eye on. It should be interesting to see how he develops and what type of player he becomes.

Scouting Report on Gibbs:

Park (NJ) in a 61-39 win, finishing with 20 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Gibbs scored almost a third of his team’s point in the game, yet did so somewhat quietly and The class of 2011 point guard was so-so and inconsistent at the Hoop Group Showcase. I caught the majority of two of his team’s game. Gibbs, who is listed at 6’1, but looks at least two inches below that, had a solid showing when his Seton Hall Prep (NJ) squad manhandled Ridgefield (NJ), yet didn’t do anything all that special to standout. He certainly displayed some fine qualities in his game, such as driving strong to the hole, good court vision, and nice quickness, all of which are important are important in a modern day point guard. I did notice a few attributes in Gibbs’ game that will require some work. When heading down the court for offense, he would occasionally break early, though many times he would lag behind the play. When he did catch up to the play, there were times Gibbs would stay behind the three-point line standing around. Sterling, who has nice hops and takes contact well, did seem a bit awkward on the court at times, though part of that may have been a result of him running slowly at times, rather than actual awkwardness. He rarely went down low on either offense or defense, unless he was driving to the rack. Gibbs is the type of player who would likely need to play on a team that utilizes zone defense, as when his man went down low, Gibbs seemed lost. He needs to be able to hang up top, where he seemed quite comfortable. In fact, Sterling would actually play D well above the three-point line on some possessions. In a zone defense, Sterling could certainly excel as a premiere defensive player. Against St. Patrick’s (NJ) in the other game I saw him play, Gibbs had a rough game, dropping just eight points, half of which came at the line, where he was 4/6. He seemed frustrated for much of the game, as the Celtics ran all over them to a 54-41 win. Overall, Gibbs is a player with talent and potential. He needs two or three inches, a more developed all-around game, especially on offense, and needs to give full effort at all times. Assuming he does what he can to improve, Gibbs has a great shot of making some noise throughout his high school career and taking his game to the high DI level.

No comments: