A seventeen-year-old with Barbadian roots is making waves on the basketball court in the United States
It wasn’t too long ago that Sade Gibbons didn’t know how to take a layup, often going off the wrong foot. It was just one of the basics of basketball she needed to learn.
“There were so many things I couldn’t do,” Long Island Lutheran’s rising senior forward said.
She didn’t pick up the sport until she was in seventh grade. Up until then, her older brother Tier, who was a standout at Virginia prep school Episcopal, played basketball as Gibbons focused her attention on running track. She took it up as a hobby until it became her passion. “Why not use that and why not use that to take you as far as it could?” she said. “Obviously it worked out.”
A Springfield Gardens native, and daughter of Barbadian Carlo Gibbons who hails from Archer’s Lane, Queen’s Street, St Peter, Gibbons verbally committed to play women’s basketball at the University of Pennsylvania, picking the Ivy League school over Delaware, Davidson, Fairfield and Manhattan.
She chose to go to high school at LuHi because of the quality of the education she could get there, and academics were a factor in this choice as well. UPenn offered everything the athletic 6-foot-1 Gibbons wanted.
She gets a chance to have the always-precious Ivy League education to set her up for the future, head coach Mike McLaughlin and his staff made her feel comfortable, and being in Philadelphia reminded her of New York City. The Quakers will also be upgrading their facilities. She visited in June, but had to wait for the financial aid process to work itself out. She credited her development to her Long Island Lightning travel ball coaches, notably LuHi head man Rich Slater who was with her at the very beginning.
Gibbons, a southpaw, is actually right-handed naturally. She felt so comfortable using the opposite hand that her coaches told her to stick with it. She did the same thing with basketball, helped the Crusaders win a state Federation Class B title two years ago and is expected to be one of their big inside threats again this season. She will do so as a Division I player. “It was so stressful, calls constantly,” Gibbons said. … “I kind of knew that I always wanted to go to Penn.”
Gibbons last visited Barbados with her father as a small child.