Gibson Going Step By Step

Dothan (Ala.) Northview is home to one of the top young prospects in the Southeast. Center Xavier Gibson is a major talent and he talks about how he intends to reach his potential.

It was the Boo Williams Invitational in 2005 when Xavier Gibson was first spotted nationally. While playing with the Georgia Blazers 16s, it was impossible not to notice the long bodied big man with a runner's gait and a good touch.

As the spring and summer progressed, Gibson was doing the right things and programs were taking notice. He made the all-star game at the Nike All-American Camp as a sophomore. Scout.com ranked him among the Top 5 prospects in his class.

As a sophomore this past season, Gibson averaged 16.5 points and 7 rebounds a game. According to the 6-foot-9 center from Northview, he did so even during a unique setting. "We had a funny system. Our coach is a pump you up guy and we played like on the streets, we played how we know how to play."

Gibson is good enough that Alabama, Florida State and Georgia Tech have taken notice and are "coming hard", according to the young big man.

Still, there is work to be done. As he enters the spring of 2006, he's still considered more prospect than producer. He has the tools, the ability and plenty of room to improve. He's not 200 pounds yet and the lack of strength is evident.

"It's holding me back a little bit," Gibson said. "It's my second year in this system. I'm getting my looks and my shots and I'm trying to get stronger so I can play with people.

"Give me another year and I'll be tip top; I'll be ready."

There's little doubt he will. More than anything he needs time. Time to get stronger, time to get confident and time to mature physically in what is a frame capable of carrying weight while being very athletic.

At the Boo in an early round game, Gibson wasn't much of an offensive factor but that's not to say he didn't give you a taste of what he can do. In one sequence, he caught it in traffic and went up and hammered down a thunderous dunk on top of a defender. It was one of those plays not everyone is capable of making but Gibson can do it. In fact, it served to give him more confidence going forward.

" "(The dunk) made me want to play a little harder, maybe get another rebound. It tells me that I've arrived.

"I want to get a lot stronger and work on my rebounding and low post scoring."

Gibson said he works out with some people close to him around town. He had an uncle who went to Cincinnati so in addition to the aforementioned schools, the Bearcats might be wise to blow a call into him. However, recruiting isn't something that dominates his thinking these days.

"I don't even think about it much. I just look at it day by day. I'll go see how I like it (on unofficial visits) and fit in but I know I've got a lot of time so I don't even focus on it right now."

Nor should he.


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