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April 22, 2014

Heritage's Gibson Picks JUCO

Heritage High School in Newport News, VA enjoyed its best basketball season this past winter since 2003-04. The Hurricanes finished 16-6 overall with a share of the Ironclad Conference regular season crown and were ranked #1 in the state in Group 4A For much of the campaign.

One of the main cogs in their attack was 6-foot-4 power forward Troy Gibson, an All-Ironclad Conference First Team selection that earned Second Team All-Region recognition in 4A-South. As his career at Heritage progressed, so too did his performance and interest from schools at the next level.

Gibson is opting to take his talents to the Junior College ranks, committing to Coach Chuck Moore and Richard Bland College in Petersburg.

"I think they're getting a kid who hasn't tapped into all of his potential yet. He was a late starter in the game of basketball and was just starting to get hungry about the game for us. He works hard and is both pretty athletic and powerful," stated Heritage Head Basketball Coach Mike Gardner on Gibson.

"When he went there to Richard Bland, he really liked the campus and dorms. The process was probably starting to get a little stressful for him and he was ready to get it over with I imagine. He's been in the gym working every day, and I think it was a relief for him to get it done."

Last season for Heritage, Gibson averaged 11.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. There were several performances that stood out. One of them was a 63-52 win over Petersburg in the Sixth Annual VirginiaPreps.com Classic Presented by Cox Sports, where Gibson finished with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds to be named Player of the Game.

Gibson had different options to choose from. He considered Louisburg Junior College, Patrick Henry Community College and a host of Division II and Division III programs that were expressing interest. In the end, Richard Bland was the most logical fit to him.

"By taking the JUCO route, I think it allows him to go and work on some of things he needs and refine those areas in his game because he'll project at the college level as a 3/4," Gardner added. "I like the prospects of him playing JUCO."

The Statesmen from Richard Bland went 27-4 overall this past season. A number of players from the state of Virginia were on their roster. Just from the Peninsula District, ex-Kecoughtan shooter Jeremy Saunders and Bethel forward Drew Walton dotted the roster. Other Hampton Roads players that saw action were for them were Lequan Thomas of Green Run and Andre Stanley from Landstown.

Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail [email protected], and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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