Athlete Spotlight

  • Gibbs High Scholar Athlete - Gibbs High Basketball Team

    After a second come-from-behind win in their run to the state title, the Gibbs High School boys basketball team brought home the state championship for the first time since 1969.

    Gibbs defeated Andrew Jackson 49-43 in the class 4A state championship on Saturday afternoon at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

    “It’s a great feeling considering we’ve been here two years in a row,” said head coach Larry Murphy. “We had to finally get over that hump. We put in a lot of work in the off-season to get this.”

    Despite trailing until well into the third quarter, the Gladiators saw a shift in momentum after Jacob Daniels sent Bobby Crawford a no-look pass for a slam dunk.

    “Those type of momentum plays, we feed off that,” Daniels said. “That’s just big energy. After that, our mentality goes up.”

    Murphy said the team talked about playing tougher in the locker room at halftime.

    “We talked about how bad we really wanted it,” Murphy said. “We got tougher in the second half and did what we needed to do.”

    Crawford recalled remembering the feeling of losing at the tournament last year and how his approach was different this time around.

    “We came here to get a state championship,” Crawford said. “Everything was different this year.”

    After arriving back to St. Petersburg over the weekend, the team was honored with a pep rally in the Gibbs gym on Monday afternoon. Cheerleaders, the band as well as Superintendent Hendrick and School Board members Caprice Edmond, who is a Gibbs alum, and Laura Hine, celebrated the team as each member made his way to center court. Principal and assistant coach Barry Brown hoisted the state championship trophy.

    “I think the grit and determination that was displayed all year is just an example of our school, an example of our scholars and our faculty and staff,” Brown said. “Things like this help us create a positive impact on our school community, so I’m just proud of everybody.”