Family focuses Gibbs’ growth

Four-star guard Temple Gibbs Jr. knows what it takes to be ready early. He can thank his older brothers for that. Seton Hall Prep coach Kevin Williams believes Gibbs will be well prepared for Notre Dame when he enrolls a year from now.

Not many have made freshman impacts within the Seton Hall Prep hoops program.

Those that have all seem to come from the same family.

Ashton Gibbs graduated from Seton Hall in 2008 before starring at Pittsburgh. Sterling Gibbs finished his high school career in 2011 and signed with Texas before transferring to Seton Hall University. He’s now in the process of finding a fifth-year option to finish out his college eligibility. 

Temple Gibbs Jr. is the latest in that lineage. The four-star point guard stepped into the starting lineup at Seton Hall Prep as a freshman and has since emerged as a leader and top prospect in the Class of 2016. Head coach Kevin Williams is less than surprised by that trajectory.

“They just come in ready,” Williams said. “Again, the dad was a football player here at the school and played college football at Temple. He’s worked them out since an early age kinda developing their skills. He obviously did a great job.”

The youngest Gibbs will also make his way to the highest level of college basketball after committing earlier this month to Notre Dame, where he’ll play in the ACC.

Gibbs chose the Irish over scholarship offers from Auburn, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Miami, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, South Florida, St. John’s, Temple and Virginia, among others.

Notre Dame scored the commitment before Gibbs wrapped up an official visit to campus.

“Coach (Mike) Brey is a great coach,” Williams said. “TJ watched them play a lot in the winter time and he got out to Notre Dame. Part of the whole things about Notre Dame is it is Notre Dame. The name kind of speaks for itself. For a kid to get recruited there as opposed to some of the other schools he was thinking about, just the whole Notre Dame mystique is pretty big.

“But coach Brey obviously has done an unbelievable job there and they’re in a great conference. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?”

Brey will get Gibbs into the program after another year of high school basketball. Current point guard Demetrius Jackson could serve as mentor for a season or have departed for the NBA Draft by that point.

DraftExpress.com lists Jackson as its No. 13 prospect in the current crop of college sophomores and as a borderline lottery pick next summer. Should Jackson leave, Gibbs will need to be ready.

His brothers indicate that won’t be a problem.

“I think he’s real similar,” Williams said. “They’re all real mature in the way they go about things. The ability to handle that adversity, the confidence that they have, the ability to get their teammates involved. I think it’ll be a pretty smooth transition, as it was in all their cases.”

Gibbs averaged 19.9 points, four rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game during the school season while leading Seton Hall to a 25-2 record with an appearance in the North Jersey Non-Public A title game.

He’s averaging 13.8 points for Playaz Basketball Club (6-6) this spring on the EYBL circuit.

Williams has seen the 6-foot-3, 185-pound prospect develop in critical areas after watching his brothers develop their own games.

“I think it helps tremendously,” Williams said. “Even before he got to high school, Ashton was at Pittsburgh and I think he kinda saw the areas of the college game that are important. Strength, weight room, the ability to create your own shot at times. Just watching his brothers go through the whole thing, they kinda made the mistakes for him. He could kind of attack those areas before he even gets to that level.”

Brey and Notre Dame will reap the rewards of that almost a year from now when Gibbs enrolls.

So it goes for the latest of the brothers.

“I think he’s real similar,” Williams said. “They’re all real mature in the way they go about things. The ability to handle that adversity, the confidence that they have, the ability to get their teammates involved. I think it’ll be a pretty smooth transition, as it was in all their cases.”



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