Former Comet named 2019 SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Former North Stanly Comet standout Luke Gibson earned another honor as a student-athlete at Newberry College.

Gibson was named the 2019-20 South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The South Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is presented annually to one student-athlete in each of the Conference’s championship sports and is voted on by the SAC’s Faculty Athletic Representatives Committee. The winners are selected based on their achievements in academics, athletics, service and leadership.

“It is a huge honor to have received the award and to represent Stanly County in this way,” Gibson said. “I hope to be a positive role model for future generations coming from North Stanly and Stanly County.”

Gibson is a senior accounting major with a 3.97 grade point average. He is a four-time dean’s list selection, a three-time SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection, a CoSIDA Academic All-District pick and a CoSIDA Academic All-America honoree.

Gibson played in all 29 games in 2019-20, scoring 11.9 points with 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He led the SAC in three-point shooting percentage, hitting 46.3 percent of his shots from long range.

Gibson said balancing school and basketball starts with priorities and understanding time management.

“I keep God as my first priority and everything else follows after that,” Gibson said. “As far as time management, that is something you have to kind of learn on your own and work your way through. It is a challenge at first, but it has only helped me in the long run.”

In addition to his success on the basketball court and in the classroom, Gibson has been an active member of the community. He volunteers at the Newberry Academy Spanish Academy, was a referee-coach for the Law Enforcement & Youth Basketball Tournament, volunteers at Gallman Elementary and is a leader in the Newberry Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has spent time each of the last four years working with the Special Olympics basketball teams in Newberry and volunteered at the Newberry Fire Department’s Kids Fun Day.

“This is such a great well deserved honor,” Newberry head men’s basketball coach Jason Taylor said. “He truly is the best representation of what we all want the term ‘student-athlete’ to represent. He maximized every aspect of his experience during his time at Newberry College. I’m so proud and so happy for him.”

SAC Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete Finalists

Ben Zemonek, Catawba
Courvoisier McCauley, Lincoln Memorial
Darius Simmons, Lenoir-Rhyne
Jakob Dawkins, Wingate
Trenton Gibson, Tusculum

Note: Charles Curcio contributed to this article.