Taj Gibson Interview
Taj Gibson is a talented, athletic basketball player from New York who plays at Stoneridge Prep in California's San Fernando Valley. The 6-9, 205-pound forward recently met with InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner for an exclusive interview.
InsideHoops.com: Introduce yourself.
Taj Gibson: My name is Taj Gibson. I was born and raised in Fort Greene, in Brooklyn, New York. I'm 19, going on my senior year of high school at StoneRidge Prep in San Fernando Valley, California.
InsideHoops.com: In New York, what parks did you mostly play at?
Taj Gibson: Tillery Park, West 4th street, Kingdome, everywhere. I'm a city guy.
InsideHoops.com: How young were you when you first started playing ball?
Taj Gibson: First started playing ball seriously, 14. I used to have like four, five games a day. Just keep playing streetball and tournaments.
InsideHoops.com: Who got you started playing ball?
Taj Gibson: My dad. Because he used to play ball in the Army during the war.
InsideHoops.com: What did your dad do?
Taj Gibson: He was a soldier in the Vietnam war. And he played for the U.S. Army national team during the time he was over there.
InsideHoops.com: Has he told you stories about what it was like?
Taj Gibson: Yeah, he told me it was scary at times. But he also realized that he was lucky, because there were guys dying out there while he was playing basketball.
InsideHoops.com: And back to you, where were you going to school here in New York before you left?
Taj Gibson: I was at Telecommunications high school in downtown Brooklyn.
InsideHoops.com: What neighborhood?
Taj Gibson: Red Hook. So I went there for one year, and then went to Stoneridge from 10th grade and on. And now I'm a senior.
InsideHoops.com: What kind of numbers did you put up last season?
Taj Gibson: I averaged 21 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocks a game. I was very consistent. My coaches are pleased.
InsideHoops.com: Where are you thinking of going to college?
Taj Gibson: Right now I'd say I like Louisville, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Cincinnati, Northeastern, UConn, Texas, USC, South Florida and St. John's. I'm open right now, but those are the schools that have been hollering at me.
InsideHoops.com: On the college level, what will you be, a small forward or power?
Taj Gibson: For the college level, I'm kind of a power forward, but I'm real athletic, I can shoot, I can basically guard either forward spot. I'm basically a 3/4.
InsideHoops.com: What would you say are your best offensive and defensive skills?
Taj Gibson: Defensively I'm good at blocking shots and rebounding. Offensively, I'm athletic, I get down the court, I set real screens, and working on my post moves. I out-hustle guys, I'm a strong competitor and I rebound good.
InsideHoops.com: I heard you actually have a hook-shot.
Taj Gibson: It's a fun shot. The defender can't stop it. It's hard for them to stop it even if they're taller than you.
InsideHoops.com: Are we talking a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sky-hook, or normal jump-hooks?
Taj Gibson: I did the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar kind of sky-hook twice, and they both went in, but I usually do regular jump-hooks.