Jan. 8, 2014
By Sean Brennan
This week BIGEAST.com unveils our new feature entitled “Getting to Know…,” a season-long series that will take a more personal look at student athletes throughout the BIG EAST conference. We tip things off with Seton Hall’s Sterling Gibbs, a 6-2 sophomore guard out of Seton Hall Prep who talks about, among other topics, coming home to New Jersey, his assists off the court and his hidden talents away from the game.
BIGEAST.com: How tough was it to sit out last season after transferring from the University of Texas?
GIBBS: “It was definitely tough, especially because we struggled a little bit in the BIG EAST conference last season. It hurt not being able to help them out there but the coaches helped me out because I was able to go in and practice with the team every day and go against the guys to make me better.
BIGEAST.com: Your older brother, Ashton, played in the BIG EAST at Pitt. Did you seek his advice about making your move to Seton Hall?
GIBBS: “Yes definitely. I spoke to him every day. I still speak to him every day. (Ashton is currently playing professionally in Romania). It was good having him there because he’s been through everything, especially with the BIG EAST. He gave me a lot of advice with what to do. He told me Seton Hall was a great program and I’d succeed there. (Gibbs is currently leading the Pirates in scoring at 15.9 points per game).
BIGEAST.com: Was the opportunity to play in front of your family a driving force in your decision?
GIBBS: “It was a big reason why I came back home. My mom, dad and brother were only able to get to Texas once to see me because of flights and schedules. But there’s nothing like seeing your whole family there watching you play. It’s a whole different ballgame. It was a big part of the decision because I’m a big family guy. I like going home every Sunday to eat with my family with my mom cooking. That’s nice.”
How many games have your parents made so far this season?
GIBBS: “They’ve come out to every home game and they’ll also make some of the away games like Villanova and Georgetown.”
BIGEAST.com: You are already the all-time leading scorer at Seton Hall Prep. So what are looking to accomplish in your career at Seton Hall?
GIBBS: “I want to win. I told (assistant) coach Shaheen (Holloway) and (head) coach (Kevin) Willard when I was bring recruited that I want to be known as a winner. I want to take Seton Hall to the NCAA Tournament and more. When you look back on someone’s legacy, not many people remember who lost so I want to be remembered as a winner. Someone who played hard and did whatever it took to make the team a winner.”
BIGEAST.com: Your dad was a football player at Temple and we know about your brother. What was it like growing up in a sports family?
GIBBS: “(Sterling and Ashton) actually started out playing football. We all swore we were going to be football players growing up. But it just so happened that one day my dad stumbled onto a newspaper (advertisement) that said there would be tryouts for a Scotch Plains (N.J.) town basketball team. Him being the big sports guy he is, he said let’s try some basketball with football. But eventually me and my brother both decided on basketball. Overall, sports is our family. When we come home we watch sports, we talk about sports, basketball, football. It’s a great atmosphere.”
BIGEAST.com: Do you have favorite players or teams that you root for?
GIBBS: “I have a lot of friends in college playing one different teams. There are games on each week and each day that I can watch and root for this team because so-and-so is playing. Then in the NBA my favorite guard is Chris Paul and there’s a guy I know from Texas, Kevin Durant, so when I see them playing I’m rooting for them.”
BIGEAST.com: The Seton Hall players and coaches recently visited sick children at St. Barnabas Hospital in New Jersey. Had you ever done something like that before and what was the experience like for you?
GIBBS: I’ve actually done things like that a couple of times. My mom was involved in something similar where we would go to a homeless shelter and feed the homeless and around Christmas we’d have a toy drive for kids. It was a great experience overall. Both were great experiences. Just to put a smile on all the kids’ faces and know that they look up to you, that’s definitely a great feeling.”
BIGEAST.com: Can you tell us something people don’t know about Sterling Gibbs?
GIBBS: “Well, I’m kind of a jokester. I like to joke around, especially with my teammates and my family. But I also have a mellow side where I like to write poems. That’s something nobody knows about me. I keep them at my house and I’ve shared them with my family. But recently (teammate) Brian Oliver got into writing some poems too and we’ve shared with each other.”