Former Red Hawk Gibbs pursues basketball overseas

Former Catawba Valley women's basketball standout Kadesha Gibbs (left) and Red Hawk head women's basketball coach Tisha England (right)
Former Catawba Valley women's basketball standout Kadesha Gibbs (left) and Red Hawk head women's basketball coach Tisha England (right)

HICKORY, N.C. — Two years after playing in her final college basketball game, Kadesha Gibbs still has a passion and drive for the game she's been around since she was age 6.

The former Catawba Valley women's basketball standout recently participated in the 2018 Myrtle Beach International Women's Basketball Combine — all with the hopes of playing basketball overseas.

Gibbs, who was named a National Junior College Athletic Association women's basketball All-American while playing at Catawba Valley Community College during the 2013-14 season, has stayed in shape in anticipation of a potential overseas opportunity on the court.

She works out four times a week in both the gym and basketball court, and she also remains close to her Catawba Valley roots, working out with current and former members of the Red Hawks women's basketball program.

"I just want to continue to play, and if that's what will allow me to keep playing, I want to do it," Gibbs said. "It would be nice to travel as well and play basketball."

Gibbs and another former Red Hawk — TaKeyra Thomas — participated in the two-day combine, which took place July 5-6 at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center.

Gibbs was assigned to Italian team at the Combine, while Thomas was a member of the team from Israel. Thomas' appearance in the Combine was cut short, however, due to breaking her foot in her first game.

Gibbs continued to play on, and after a win in the first round of the tournament, Gibbs was promoted to the South Pro Select team.

Coached by Greg Gibson — a Belgium men's team coach who currently plays basketball himself overseas in China — Gibbs helped guide the South Pro Select squad to two victories, including one in the Combine's championship game.

"It was really fun," Gibbs said of the Combine. "I got to meet some great athletes who share the same love as me for basketball. I also got to meet some great overseas coaches as well. It was a great opportunity to expose myself and create relationships that may help me get overseas. Also, it taught me about the tools needed to be an athlete that can make it overseas and what the coaches look for."

Alongside Gibbs throughout her entire Combine journey was Catawba Valley head women's basketball coach Tisha England.

Gibbs said having her former college coach and fellow Newton-Conover High School alumnus was special.

"It's been nice," Gibbs said. "I think every school and basketball opportunity I have had has helped me along the way because it allowed me to expand my basketball skills. I never ended a season the same type of player I was the year before."

England is proud of both Gibbs and Thomas for attending the Combine and attempting to continue their athletic careers.

"To see and be a part of Kadesha and TaKeyra chasing their dreams is what coaching is about," England said. "These ladies took their life skills and lessons that they were taught through the game of basketball and earned an Associate of Arts Degree and an Bachelor of Arts. Their hard work, discipline, dedication and character is what have got them to this point. I'm positive that greater things lie ahead for them. I am a proud coach, mentor and friend."

While Gibbs hasn't received any offers to play overseas yet, she's excited to continue to build a resumé that will hopefully land her a professional basketball opportunity.

"I'm anxious, but it's exciting," Gibbs said. "It would be a great opportunity and a huge blessing if I am able to get a contract to play overseas."