Severna Park native Jason Gibson had a solid high school career playing for Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C. He played at a level certainly worthy of getting an offer to play at the next level, but it wasn’t until late in his senior year that he solidified his plans to play Division I basketball.
After leading the Quakers to their first District of Columbia State Athletic Association Class AA championship, Gibson received an offer to play at Towson University. He recently completed a freshman season where he started the team’s final 19 games and finished fourth on the team in scoring at 8.4 points a game.
“During the summer, Coach (Pat) Skerry made it obvious he wanted me to be ready to help right away,” said Gibson, who lived in Severna Park before his family moved to Huntingtown prior to his senior year at Friends. “He really made it clear he wanted me to go in and help right away.”
A point guard who also has the ability to score, Gibson was third on the team with 45 made 3-pointers as a freshman. He scored in double figures 10 times, including in his first three games against George Washington (11 points), Bryn Athyn (12) and Kent State (18). He scored a season-high 21 points at William and Mary on January 25 and was named the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week on January 27.
While getting named the conference’s Rookie of the Week was nice for Gibson, what happened three weeks later gave him a completely different experience.
In the Tigers’ game with Elon on February 20, Gibson saved a ball from going out of bounds and sent a no-look, over-the-shoulder pass to Brian Fobbs, who finished the play with a dunk. As Gibson started to receive several text messages later that night, he realized the play landed a spot on the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 plays of the day, coming in at No. 4.
“It was crazy. My phone was blowing up,” he said. “It was definitely always a dream of mine to get on ESPN.”
Prior to Towson, Gibson finished his career at Sidwell Friends with 1,502 points. He was the DCSAA State Tournament Most Valuable Player and the Player of the Year his senior year. He averaged 18.9 points a game as a senior, scored the winning basket in the tournament quarterfinals, 28 points in an upset victory over St. John’s in the semifinals and 24 points in another upset win in the championship game, this time against Wilson.
Gibson was able to excel at Sidwell Friends despite the fact his daily commute was around three to four hours roundtrip and he arrived home several nights past 10:00pm.
“The commute was tough,” he said. “Definitely a lot of sacrifices.”
Gibson, who will be joined at Towson this year by High Point transfer Curtis Holland (Southern), said he’s been working out at home during the coronavirus pandemic as he prepares for his sophomore season. He has the trust of his head coach, who is comfortable with him running the offense as well as scoring.
“Jason is a pleasure to coach. He is talented, works hard and is a great teammate,” Skerry said. “He was an excellent quarterback and we look forward to expanding his game this year with his ability to score and get more shots for us. He is a guy that, as a coach, you really trust.”