Gabe Gibson didn’t know if he’d have a senior season.
The Campbell County High School senior started his final year at CCHS on the bench after hurting his hip before the basketball season. With limited opportunities on the court, Gibson didn’t know if he’d get a chance to continue playing basketball after his time as a Camel.
Between injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic, Gibson didn’t think he’d done enough to draw interest from college coaches.
Through sheer perseverance, he overcame his hip injury and played in 14 games for the Camels this season to attract attention from the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, North Dakota. After a campus visit and many conversations with his parents, Gibson made it official by committing to UJ to play basketball next season.
“I had trouble with recruitment stuff because I missed half of the season, but I would just pray with my parents every night just hoping to get some good schools talking to me,” Gibson said. “It’s such a relief to finally know where I’m going with my future.”
His relationship with God played a big role in his desire to join the Jimmie basketball program. A visit to the campus during the season was immediate reassurance that he’d fit right in with the team.
UJ is a private university founded by the Presbyterian Church, and a huge draw for student-athletes like Gibson is the college experience being about more than just sports.
“They put a lot of emphasis on playing for God,” Gibson said. “I really liked that.”
UJ plays in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) apart of the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Another aspect that drew his interest to Jamestown was the team’s style of play. The Jimmies finished this season with a 22-8 record after losing in the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Tournament.
“They play a lot of team game,” Gibson said. “They pass the ball a lot and it’s just smart basketball. They just had a really good season this year and the last couple seasons, so I thought, ‘Why not be a part of a really good winning program?’”
During his 14 games with the Camels, Gibson averaged 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds. He also earned honorable mention all-conference.
As a junior, Gibson averaged 3.0 points per game while shooting 39% from 3-point range.
Gibson plans on studying kinesiology while also taking advantage of some of the Christian programs the school has to offer.
Gibson won’t be the only Camel heading north to Jamestown to play basketball next season. Senior Shaelea Milliron recently committed to the UJ women’s program.
“I wanted to go to a school that shared my values and I wanted to be around other Christians,” Milliron said. “I knew I wanted to be surrounded by people who had the same values and the same morals as me.”
Both athletes said they’re looking forward to playing in the $15 million Harold Newman Arena that opened in 2017.
“It’s so nice,” Gibson said. “They have a new football field that they’re putting in, too. It’s just awesome.”