You walk into the gym at GRACE Christian in Cary, North Carolina and your eyes light up. Smiling, and an entire head and shoulders above everyone else, you see a slender 6’10” player with a 7+” wing span and you immediately take notice.
However, when you saw junior Jaylon Gibson at Apex last season, it was a different story. What you saw was a slender 6’6”/6’7” post player who had upside, but a ways to go. After our first viewing of Gibson, at the beginning of the 2017-18 season (November) we noticed him and his upside, tweeting, “Impressed with 6’7” Jaylon Gibson of Apex (NC) ability to protect the rim. Slender but great timing and soft hands. One to watch closely over the next year.”
He continued to get better throughout the year, as we saw him against state power Garner in February we wrote, “Each time out it seems Gibson gets better. He is slender, very long and a good athlete with good timing. In earlier viewings, Gibson’s consistency was in questions, mostly due to strength and confidence. Well, that is not an issue he seems to have any more. He went up for numerous dunks over people, he finished with numerous blocked shots and rebounded well in traffic. He has firmly cemented himself as a player to watch as he progresses, he has some nice natural tools.”
This growth continued on as we saw Gibson again in July. By that time, he grew to 6’8” and continued on his upward trajectory, “Extremely long big man with strong inside-out scoring ability; he can rise above nearly any opponent and frequently gets blocks/steals by way of his long arms. Gibson has tremendous upside that he could reach sooner than later.”
Well, now we are in October of the 2018-19 season, a year since the first time we saw Jaylon Gibson and really focused on him. We have gone chronicled his growth for you, via writing, already in this writing giving you a snapshot of his progression over a couple of month period.
Gibson has transferred to GRACE Christian in Cary, North Carolina and has reclassed to the 2020 class. A perfect situation considering that now Gibson stands 6’10” and is young. Yes, he is now 6’10”, up for 6’6”/6’7” a year ago, and get this, Gibson says he thinks he is still growing, projecting that he could get to be a true 7’ tall.
Looking at his game, Gibson is incredibly fluid athletically. He runs the floor like a wing, gliding up and down the floor. He has a quick second jump both when rebounding and when blocking shots. Offensively, Gibson has range extending beyond the 3-point line, he went 3-4 from 3 during game play in this work out. He has ball skills as he pushes the break, with the ability to finish around the basket with an array of euro steps footwork.
There are some similarities to John Henson at the same stage. 3-point range, shot blocking ability, ball handling skills to push the break or attack from facing up and incredible length to rebound and protect the rim.
Coming into this open gym workout, Gibson carried a James Madison offer, his only tender at this point. We sat through the workout with South Florida completely floored with what we were seeing. USF offered on the spot.
Expect a number of high major programs to come in and watch. When seeing Gibson play it is hard to not look at the future (as he has two years left in high school) and envision how much of a difference maker he could become, even at the highest level. Still unknown, even in his own state some, he could be a player who could break into the Top 100 with a good year and summer. He is also a player who could get into college and really show out with many asking, how was this one not ranked much higher…
That said, get out and see Gibson, especially if you are a high major college coach, he is worth the show.
We are excited to watch Gibson in Phenom’s High School Jamboree at Proehlific Park in Greensboro on November 3 and then again at Phenom’s National High School Showcase on November 17 at Greensboro Day in Greensboro.