Thursday, November 20, 2008

Unusual Selection for D-League

Frederick Levar Gibson was selected in the NBA D-League draft, held Friday, November 7. Gibson was drafted by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds in the 10th round.

Gibson's decision to play basketball might be somewhat unexpected to those Dawgs who remember Gibson's play on the football field. During his collegiate career, Gibson excelled as a receiver, garnering an impressive 161 receptions, almost 3,000 yards, and 20 touchdowns. He was selected in the 2005 NFL draft, as pick #131 by the Minnesota Vikings.

Gibson, who considered himself, "Randy Moss, without the attitude," spent time on the practice squad of several NFL teams, however, he never made it onto the field during an official NFL game.

To those who know him best, Gibson's decision to pursue basketball might not be that much of a surprise at all. Gibson grew up in Waycross playing basketball. He averaged 21 points a game as a senior. Being a 6' 4" speedster, he was a hotter commodity as a receiver than at shooting guard, so he signed a football scholarship with UGA.

Notwithstanding Gibson's role on the football team, Georgia Coach Jim Harrick still had his eye on Gibson for the basketball squad. In 2001/2002, Gibson in fact joined the basketball team after the football season, and scored a career-high 13 points against University of Florida. He averaged 5 points and a rebound for the basketball Dawgs, and shot 45% from the floor.

Now that Gibson is with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, he is now back to his comfort zone. He stated it this way prior to the NFL draft: he liked basketball, but played football because it was his job.

Since he was not able to showcase his talents on the football field, Gibson has apparently returned to his first love.

The Albuquerque Thunderbirds has a pre-season game tomorrow night. I'll check the results and post a recap if Gibson gets to play.

Good luck, Freddie!


Ludakit said...

Thanks for the update on Gibson. Funny, and incredibly random, true story about him happened on the way to Chicago in Harrick's second to last year.

We (I was in the basketball band at the time) were flying with the team to Chicago for the NCAA tournament and Fred Gibson sat next to a friend and myself. After a quick conversation of the rigors of being a double-sport athlete at UGA, Fred began reading his magazine and fell asleep on my shoulder halfway through it.

Being a nice (but heterosexual) guy, I just let him get his nap. Poor Fred got up every day at 5:00 am, studied, worked out with the football team, went to class, went to basketball practice and then finally got home at about 8:00 pm.

Besides, I wanted to be in Chicago for a few days and if the team lost the first round due to exhaustion, I didn't want the blame to come down on me.

By the way, GREAT hoops blog. I found you today through PWD's site. I hope you don't mind, but I'll probably be linking you up a few times through hoops season. My blog's mainly about football, but UGA hoops is a great interest of mine.

Keep up the good work!

Just Another Sports Fan said...

Fred was a 4th round pick by the Steelers.

Just Another Sports Fan said...

Fred was a 4th round pick by the Steelers.