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Tayla Gibb Commits to the Detroit-Mercy Titans



tayla gibbOn May 15, 2013, Tayla Gibb (6’2”, P, Eastern Commerce, 2013) of Toronto, Ontario announced her commitment to attend Detroit-Mercy of the of the Horizon League of the NCAA’s Division 1.

Gibb had been flying under many radars, opting not to play in the JUEL league and instead playing with the Ontario Basketball Association’s (OBAs) Toronto Lords this past rep season. In doing so, she has demonstrated that the cream does rise to the top, and provedthat hardwork under good guidance, really does pay off.

“I’m super excited! I really worked hard for this. I’ve put in a lot of time and a lot of effort in improving in basketball and in school. I’m ecstatic to have the best opportunity possible.”

In the past couple of years, the hard work that Gibb has been putting in, has ripened her into becoming a complete Post player that is agile, has a back to the basket game and an ever developing mid-range shot. She makes light work of getting up and down the court, so she is quickly able to contribute on both ends of the floor. On defense, she can laterally stay in front of stretch 4s or 3s that have quick first steps, plus her athleticism has shown that she is quite able to block a shot or two.

Gibb believes that the Detroit-Mercy Titans are going to go through a bit of an evolution this coming season with their style of play. No longer are they going to look to slow the ball down when running their offense, but instead encompass a Post that is able to keep up with their transition game. And in her, they see the opportunity to be able to use her ability to get up and down the floor and keep up with their quick Guards.

Proximity and that style of play is what made up her mind on Detroit-Mercy.

“It’s close to home. They are right across the border of Windsor [Ontario]. I like the school. They have a good program. I like the Coaching style of their team, and their style of play. They have been very ‘big man’ focused over the past couple of years. But, they’ve lost their big man so they’re trying to get more of a transition flow, lighter big man as opposed to a more solid big man.”

Gibb will also be bringing grit to the Titans lineup. Her grimey, willing to do ‘whatever-is-necessary’ type of attitude will not be liked by opponents, but will let her teammates know that they can count on her when the going gets tough.

“I’m definitely going to bring the energy. I’ve always been playing with a chip on my shoulder, so I’m definitely going to keep that up…keep the ‘nitty-gritty’ attitude that I have, because I feel like it supports my game and the other team doesn’t so much like it,” she said about her competitive nature. “But as long as my team’s on my side, that’s all that matters.”

Gibb’s Head Coach, Kareem Griffin, also echoed many of the same sentiments about her game.

He also went on to mention that along with the fact that she is a hard worker she will be bring several other intangibles to her team as well.

“She will be bringing her energy and intensity to that team for sure”, he said about Gibb, who he coached at Eastern Commerce High School and the Toronto Lords rep team. “She is very mature which will help her a lot down there. She is also not afraid talk to hear teammates in the moments of an intense game.”

Griffin has been very pleased with the progress of Gibb and expects to see continued growth over her time as a Titan.

“I see one of the things that she will need to continue to work on is her offensive ability in her workouts and how she works that into the game. Within the pace of the game her patience on offence will take her game to the next level.”

Gibb is looking to Major in Education and aspires one day to be a teacher. Her love for being around kids and mentoring them away from many of the issues that could lead them astray is among her longer term goals.

In recognizing that the road she took to get to this point was by no means easy, Gibb had a long list of ‘thank yous’ and ‘shout-outs’ for helping her through her struggles.

“I have to shout out my friend Vaneil. If I didn’t meet her and become friends, I wouldn’t have even begun to play basketball. Kareem, Tevya, Marv, Donna, Ms. Mac, John and everybody at Eastern [Commerce]. My mom, my little brother and my family. Those are the people that have really been there for me through the highs and lows.”.

She then almost jokingly remembered take time out to state the obvious. “Plus, I got to thank myself, you know? I had a little hand in there somewhere.”