Former Comet named to All-American Academic team

Published 12:31 pm Monday, March 25, 2019

Playing basketball in college is often referred to by athletes as having a full-time job while simultaneously carrying a full course load.

In the case of former North Stanly standout basketball player Luke Gibson, academics have always been important.

Gibson, a 5-foot, 10-inch junior guard at Newberry, was named to the 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-American third team, according to the College Sports Information Directors of America. He is the first Newberry men’s basketball player to be named to the Academic All-American team.

The junior has earned a 3.98 grade-point average majoring in accounting and has been on the school’s dean’s list each semester.

“A big part of (earning this honor) is staying focused spiritually and keeping God first. When I do that, basketball and academics follow,” Gibson said.

Hard work in the classroom has been something he has always done since his days as a Comet, he added.

“I liked to work hard (in high school), but here is a different standard,” he said. “You have to put the work in to maintain your conditioning and be ready at any time for your team.”

Gibson said working with former coach Chris Misenheimer along with Paul Childress, his assistant at the time and the current Comets head coach, made him “better skill-wise and strength training wise. I’m thankful for everyone that helped me along the way.”

Gibson said he works hard back at home during the off-season to stay in shape, which has paid off as his career at school has progressed.

He started 18 games this season for the Wolves, coached by former Pfeiffer coach Dave Davis, averaging 11.2 points per game, best for third on the team. He also led the team in minutes played per game (25.6) and 3-pointers made (65). He also led the team with a 38.5 percent mark on 3-pointers.

“Coach Davis enforces hard work in the gym. From day one, his focuses are God, family, academics and basketball,” Gibson said.

Davis said Gibson “has improved as much as anyone I have coached in my 35 years in this business. He is versatile, can really shoot the basketball and competes at a very high level.”

Davis said Gibson ‘is an example of how Newberry Basketball, much like Pfeiffer basketball back in the day, should be played. His work ethic is the example for his teammates and he is now embracing a leadership role that has been sorely lacking in our program. Luke makes his teammates, classmates and coaches better people. He holds himself to a very high standard and inspires others around him to work and succeed.”

Regarding the All-American honors, Davis said Gibson “deserves all the awards and accolades that come his way. He has earned it. Nothing comes easily for Luke, but he is headstrong and refuses to be outworked.”

Contact Charles Curcio at 704-983-1361 or via Twitter (@charles_curcio).

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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