Through a series of lucky circumstances, we at the Oakland Zoo were lucky enough to get an interview with Ashton Gibbs, a 6’1″ combo guard out of Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey. The versatile three-point threat is coming to Pitt next year as a member of Jamie Dixon’s solid 2008 recruiting class, and we got to chat a little with him about his basketball career so far. Here’s the highlights:
Oakland Zoo: So, what drew you to Pitt?
Ashton Gibbs: The loyalty that the coaches showed, they’ve been recruiting me since freshman year. Also, the balance of academics and athletics.
OZ: Are you excited to play for Jamie Dixon?
AG: Yea, I’m really excited. He’s down to earth and easy to talk to, but he seems like he can get the most out of you, especially on the defensive side.
OZ: You’ve been to a few games at the Pete?
AG: Yea, I only went to the exhibition versus IUPUI but it was a crazy atmosphere. The fans are ridiculous.
OZ: We try.
OZ: Have you heard at all about the rivalry with West Virginia?
AG: Yea, I heard it’s a crazy rivalry, but I haven’t heard too much yet. The two games this year were very tough and crazy games, though.
OZ: So, looking back on your high school career, what stands out the most for you?
AG: I think the all-time leading scoring record [at Seton Hall Prep] and my freshman year, winning the TOC (Tournament of Champions) Championship- we worked hard, and we got the title.
OZ: Looking at the other members of the class of 2008, specifically the other true freshmen (Nasir Robinson, Travon Woodall, and Dwight Miller), how do you see yourself fitting in with them?
AG: I think I can fit in well. Travon and I are close friends and have played with each other already, while I played with Dwight over the summer at the Rbk U (Reebok University camps), and have played against Nasir as well. They are all good, tough players who should thrive in the Pitt system with myself.
OZ: Where do you see yourself fitting in this upcoming year? Pitt’s losing our top three-point threat in Ronald Ramon, do you see yourself stepping up in that aspect?
AG: Yea I think I’m similar to him because we are good three point shooters- plus, I could always help out at the point as well- so I should fit in well.
OZ: Alright, enough with the tough stuff. What kind of music do you like?
AG: Rap and R&B
OZ: Favorite artist(s)?
OZ: Who would you say is your hero?
AG: My mom, because she’s done so much for me and never complains.
OZ: Do you have a favorite NBA player?
AG: Dwayne Wade and Ben Gordon.
All in all, Ashton was a great kid to talk too and I’m sure all of us in the Zoo are excited to watch him grow and mature as a Pitt Panther. Much thanks to him for letting me grill him for a few, and hopefully we’ll be able to bring you some more previews of the 2008 recruiting class as the summer goes on.