Tia Gibbs is one of the best basketball players to grace the courts of Kentucky. Gibbs was named the 2008 Miss Kentucky Basketball and led Butler High School to the 2008 Kentucky State Championship. Gibbs averaged nearly 20 points per game from her freshman season through her senior year. Twice named the 6th Region Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the Kentucky Sweet Sixteen, despite missing the championship game due to injury. She is the all-time leading scorer at Butler with 2,790 points.
The accolades are endless for Gibbs. After her high school career, Gibbs attended Vanderbilt University. For the Commodores, she played in 29 games. The Louisville native transferred her sophomore to the University of Louisville, starting in all 35 games, and led the team in steals with 95 takeaways. Injuries impacted her in the latter part of her career. She was able to fight back and return to the court, professionally playing for Panathlitikos in Greece for a year.
As she returned to America, her shine has shown off the court. Her unselfish compassion for others has impacted her hometown of Louisville, Ky. Gibbs seeks to help improve the lives of the youth. This summer, Gibbs hosted a basketball camp with Austin Howard, Bree Hawkins, Lakesha Perry, and Lateidra Elliott in partnership with A-One All-Stars. Participants were able to experience hands-on training from a basketball legend. It was a mixture of free playing, drills, games, and competitions. Her camp allowed young players to simply; enjoy the game of basketball.
“My community has done so much for me; it is very natural for me to want to give back to my community. I’m always looking for opportunities to serve my community and make a positive impact on our youth. Those before me did it for me.” Gibbs said. “I can give you a long list of people in this community who impacted my life at an early age. Basketball organically created this avenue that gives me access to the community. I’m going to use it to make a difference.”
The former athletes and trainers also shared their stories of perseverance, adversity, decision making, peer pressure, and general life skills. The benefits of youth sports combines and camps have been valuable to collegiate and professional athletes. From this starting point, an athlete can identify their strengths and weaknesses, monitor their progress, set goals and have realistic expectations. With the trainers giving their life stories, the camp mixed athletics with knowledge.
“My mantra as an athlete was to; never let anyone outwork you! I would share this advice with any young player looking to take their game to the next level. The two things you can always control are your attitude and effort. Keeping a positive attitude and outworking your opponents will set you apart from the crowd.”
The working mom has balanced basketball, her profession, and charity service. Tia has also found another passion working one-on-one with kids, specifically troubled female teens. She mentors young girls and women through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Gibbs has become a model of what a post-college basketball career can be. She was a force on the court, and Gibbs is a force in her community.