WINNSBORO — Marcus Gibbs is the fearless senior every team needs in clutch moments.
Gibbs has shown time and again that he is cool under pressure, and that was best exemplified at Eau Claire High School when he knocked down a game-tying three pointer that put the Griffins in position to get a big win.
Gibbs displays a maturity that is rare in high school, and that has been a big reason why his role as a leader on the team has been vital.
Coach Devin Liferidge said Gibbs reminded him of himself.
“His personality reminds me of myself a bit. He’s very humble, he’s laid back, doesn’t say a whole lot but when he speaks the guys listen. And they respect his voice,” Liferidge said.
Ask Gibbs about his shot against Eau Claire and what was going through his mind when he took it. You might be surprised by his response.
Most people would talk about the pressure of the moment, focusing on one aspect of the shot or another. Not Gibbs.
“I was thinking getting back on defense, get a stop,” he said.
No shot or moment is too big for Gibbs. Coach Liferidge said Gibbs was clutch and could hit any shot, and Gibbs said he embraces that role.
“I like to think I can hit any shot,” he said. “I’m a leader, I have to take care of the ball and make tough shots.”
His motivation is all about the team.
“I want to get better and help my teammates get better,” he said.
He doesn’t strive for the individual awards though. His goal is bigger: “I want to get to state and win the state.”
Watch Gibbs play and you may see similarities to NBA star Kevin Durant. Both have made big shots in clutch moments for their teams and both have a strong drive to the basket.
Gibbs says he looks to Durant for inspiration for his play.
“We have the same spots on the floor and we take the same shots,” Gibbs said.
Liferidge said that missing last year with a knee injury was tough for Gibbs, but helped him to improve mentally.
“He took the entire last year off and sat behind the bench and watched and worked on his recovery with his knee,” the coach said.
That patience and dedication to learning the system paid off, and was only helped when he put in the work during the off-season.
“He had an incredible off-season,” Liferidge said. “He’s a gym rat, always wanting to get better.”
Gibbs said that if he could give the next generation of Griffins one piece of advice, it would be to heed the advice of their coaches. “Listen to all the coaching, whatever they do, just listen to them,” he said. “They’re not going to tell you wrong.”
Reach James Inabinet at 803-635-4016.