Temple Gibbs knew from an early age what to expect when college coaches started calling.
Growing up, Gibbs watched both older brothers go through the process as high profile recruits. Ashton was a star guard at Pittsburgh. Sterling started his career at Texas, transferred to hometown Seton Hall and will finish his career this season at Connecticut.
That meant Temple’s recruitment was inevitable. When Manhattan College and Seton Hall offered in eighth grade the process got started even faster than expected.
“It was crazy,” Gibbs said. “Sterling was a freshman in college so I had literally just finished seeing him go through all of it, seeing him go on official visits and things like that. It was crazy how it was already starting for me and how schools were already starting to recognize me a little bit.”
Several more major programs would notice Gibbs in the ensuing years.
Auburn, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Miami, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, St. John’s and Virginia were among the scholarship offers to come next. Notre Dame entered the picture formally last winter when Mike Brey watched a game and delivered an offer.
Brey recruited both older brothers so he’ll finally get to coach a member of the Gibbs family once Temple arrives on campus this summer after signing with the program this week.
Their relationship has blossomed even more since Temple committed in the spring.
“I think it’s great,” Gibbs said. “He knows my oldest brother from coaching against him. I know him and my dad have a great relationship. I feel like I can speak to coach at any time. We’re always texting. He’s always asking me how I’m doing and how everything his going. He’s keeping up on my workouts and stuff like that. It’s great. I know he cares about me. He really cares for me.”
Brey has traditionally had a strong relationship with his point guards — Eric Atkins, Chris Thomas and Ben Hansbrough, to name a few — and that is no different with Demetrius Jackson, his current floor general.
Gibbs will join a crowd at the position with Jackson and Matt Farrell on the roster, although there’s some potential for big change.
DraftExpress.com currently lists Jackson as its No. 15 overall prospect, which would put him in the range of being a first round pick in the NBA Draft this spring. Jackson hasn’t made a declaration either way and it’s not something Brey talked with Gibbs about all that much.
In fact, Gibbs wouldn’t mind if Jackson stuck around for his senior season.
“Nothing was promised,” Gibbs said. “We haven’t said anything about that. Honestly, to me it’s great either way whether Demetrius stays. If he stays I get to learn from the best. He’s a proven guard in the ACC that would do nothing but help me along the way. He’ll be a senior and I’ll be able to play against him. He can show me things. They also have Matt there. He’s another great player. He’s real scrappy. He hits shots, he knocks down shots. I think he’ll have a breakout year this year.”
Either way, Gibbs plans to be as prepared as possible for the next step.
“One thing we’ve really been working on recently as far as me being able to excel my senior year is midrange and being able to make good basketball decisions with my passing,” he said. “Know when it should be a bounce pass or a chest pass, just simple things like that. Just making sure I’m able to knock down open shots when I get the chance whether it’s swung to me or I step into it or I have to take a couple dribbles.”