Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics.
By David Cordova
When you’re playing at Notre Dame, you do so with the knowledge that there is a lot of pride when you put on that uniform. Every time Temple Gibbs puts on the uniform for the Irish, he puts it on with honor and does it for himself, his loved ones, his program and the Irish faithful.
The 6-foot-3 junior shooting guard is one of the main scoring options for the Irish and has been showcasing his talent for audiences ever since his younger days. Only now, he’s doing it in front of big crowds inside Purcell Pavilion and other arenas around the nation.
When asked what motivates him to be successful on the court, he replied, “A lot. One has to be my family, just pushing through for them, working out, going hard every day. That comes from them. Their preservation always leads for me to want to work harder and to kind of propel our family into the next level.”
Gibbs, who is a native of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, is the youngest of three brothers to have played Division I basketball. The eldest brother, Ashton, played four years at Pittsburgh and played several years of professional basketball overseas. And the middle brother, Sterling, played for Texas, Seton Hall and UConn and is now playing professionally in France for Hermine Nantes Atlantique.
When asked about being from the Garden State, he replied, “I’m all about Jersey. Jersey kids are tough and I try to live up to that, we always gotta be those guys that can’t be stopped and that’s something I really bring. I try to bring that every day, so Jersey guards are different. If you’re from Jersey, you hear it every day and you’ve got to live by it. Growing up, just rolling with the punches, it’s a tough one, but we’re going to bounce back, just like every day growing up.”
Just like his elder brothers, Gibbs played his high school ball at Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange, New Jersey. As a sophomore, he averaged 18.6 points per game, and then as a junior, he averaged 19.9 points. As a senior, he led the Pirates to a 29-1 record and averaged 20.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He left Seton Hall Prep as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,987 points.
When asked about his time at Seton Hall Prep, he replied, “I loved it there, I mean, that’s family, I can’t ask anything of them, they always help me out when I come home, it’s always love and I love that place.”
In May 2015, as a high school junior, he made the pledge to play at Notre Dame, and chose them over schools such as Boston College, Georgetown, Providence, Miami, St. John’s, Virginia, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Georgia Tech and Temple.
When asked about playing at Notre Dame and for longtime head coach Mike Brey, Gibbs replied, “I mean, I love it, he [Brey] is the best guy in the world, he has a lot of confidence in me, he shows me a lot of new things every day. It’s a learning experience, and I’m just trying to get better every day. He’s the leader and the reason why we’re here.”
As a freshman in 2016-17, he scored 4.7 points per game as he came off the bench for a team that was ranked as high as No. 14 in the Associated Press poll. Last season, he averaged 15.3 points per game as a sophomore. This season, he’s averaging 13.1 points per game for the Fighting Irish, who are 12-11 overall on the season, but a woeful 2-8 in ACC play.
When asked about the strengths and weaknesses in his game, Gibbs replied, “My strengths are shooting, getting to the basket, getting other people involved. I need to slow down, I had a couple of shots today, that were rushed, I just gotta get back to playing how we play and being who I am.”
As the season gears into the final few weeks of the regular season before the ACC Tournament the Fighting Irish will try to get to the NCAA Tournament or at least the NIT, by attempting to make a strong, successful run in the next six weeks. With Gibbs on the court, there’s no way they can’t make that happen. And hopefully, with some success, the luck of the Irish can bring them some good fortune.
When asked about his goals for the rest of the season, he replied, “Take it every game, take it one game at a time. We’re trying to win as many games as possible, we want to make it to the NCAA Tournament and get to that Final Four.”
With some luck of the Irish, good things can happen.
Highlights of Temple Gibbs:
Courtesy of PJ Candido.
Courtesy of Courtside Films.
Courtesy of ACC Digital Network.
Courtesy of ACC Digital Network.
Courtesy of NJ Sports Scene.
Courtesy of ESPN.