Student-Athlete Spotlight: Liam Gibcus, Men's Basketball

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

At 6-foot-10 and 235 pounds, Liam Gibcus still manages a rather unassuming presence. Off the basketball court, the Australia native's charming accent might very well grab more attention than those long legs with femurs that could substitute for baseball bats.

Student-Athlete Spotlight: Liam Gibcus, Men's BasketballBrought to UAA on an athletic scholarship, the capable freshman started a lot of games his first season. The Seawolves played hard and finished with a 17-10 overall record and No. 9 West Region ranking.

At 19 years old, Gibcus says he does get a little nervous when hitting the collegiate basketball court. "In those first couple seconds you might freak out a little until you get your rhythm. Then it's a rush; it's exhilarating."

Gibcus played center position and helped UAA earn a winning record for the 5th straight season. Additionally, UAA posted its 50th all-time victory over a Division I team by beating Nicholls State in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, and swept the season series against rival UAF for the 4th straight year. Gibcus is a season-end starter and now a big part of the Seawolves' high hopes for next year's playoffs.

A civil engineering major, Gibcus says, "Being a student-athlete is very busy so you're never bored. You need to manage your time efficiently and deal with your muscles hurting all the time. You miss a lot of classes while traveling for games and you have to work hard to catch up. But hard work pays off. If you put in the time, then you'll get the benefits."

To help ease that first year away from his family and his home country, Gibcus' mother sent him his favorite treats: Tim Tams. A Tim Tam is two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filling and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate. Living with fellow basketball players who surely must have substantial appetites, Gibcus shares his Tim Tams, but keeps the stash safely tucked away to make sure it doesn't disappear in one sitting.

He is happy to be here at UAA, where he says living on campus is good for socializing and the education is "well-rounded." In Australia, students studying engineering wouldn't necessarily be taking elective classes such as music appreciation. "It's neat to be able to listen to some music in class," he says.

Gibcus is also learning other life lessons; the same that many freshmen encounter the first time they leave the home nest. "You realize that things don't move until you move them. Back home my mom used to pick up after me a lot," he says with a wide grin.

With his combination of natural ability, willingness to work hard and great attitude, UAA is lucky to have Gibcus on the team. And not just to reach those things on the top shelf.

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