Playaz Guard T.J. Gibbs Breaking Out at Peach Jam | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / June 18.
  • Playaz Guard T.J. Gibbs Breaking Out at Peach Jam

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    NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — T.J. Gibbs is breaking out.

    The youngest of the three Gibbs brothers from New Jersey, T.J. grew up in the shadows of older brothers Ashton, who played at Pittsburgh, and Sterling, now the point guard at Seton Hall.

    On his Playaz Basketball AAU club, T.J. plays alongside highly acclaimed guard Isaiah Briscoe, who is being courted by some of the biggest programs in the nation.

    Yet here at this Peach Jam — and specifically in a dramatic 81-78 victory over E1T1 Friday night — Gibbs has asserted his own primacy.

    In a game that featured Briscoe, future pro Ben Simmons and highly touted guard Antonio Blakeney, it was Gibbs who was the leading scorer as the Playaz (4-0) remained unbeaten.

    The 6-foot-2 2016 Seton Hall Prep guard went for 25 points, four steals and three rebounds in the win, hitting several key free throws and grabbing a clutch defensive rebound in the final moments when Briscoe fouled out with 2:48 remaining.

    In three previous games, Gibbs went for 22, 26 and 19 points.

    PlayazWith coaches from Arizona, Louisville, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Rutgers and Villanova watching, Briscoe added 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the win, while Syracuse-bound big man Moustapha Diagne was huge with 10 points and seven boards.

    The LSU-bound Simmons had 20 points and 10 boards in E1T1’s first loss, while Blakeney went for 21 and five.

    “It was great, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I feel like I really took advantage,” Gibbs said of playing in front of a completely packed gym that bordered on being a fire hazard. “My team got the win, I thought we played well together as a team.”

    Gibbs said he was especially fired up by the crowd that turned out for the matchup between the two unbeaten EYBL teams.

    “It charges us up a lot. It makes us all come together because we all want to look together and look good together, so that way it’s not looking like a one-man show,” Gibbs said. “It’s not looking like one person has the ball, we’re all doing it together.”

    Entering the game, Gibbs said UAB, Seton Hall, Miami and South Florida were recruiting him the hardest, but one coach in attendance said a game like that could give Gibbs 10-15 more offers.

    “I hope so,” Gibbs said. “I like the schools that I have now. I think I have some good schools, but I would like to expand my list a little bit and see what schools come after me.”

    Said longtime Playaz coach Jimmy Salmon, whose team went 13-3 during the EYBL season: “I think it helps all of them. You got 70 coaches in the building, there’s nothing better than the Peach Jam.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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