Former Baskets 96 Rahden and Hannover United player, Jack Gibbs has recently set up the High Rollers 3×3 cash prize event. It is the first 3×3 wheelchair basketball event in the UK. The event will take place in Jack’s hometown of Essex this Saturday (August 31st) and the winning team will receive £550 in cash. The tournament will feature many world-class stars such as World Champion, Mariska Beijer and several of the GB Women such as; Charlotte Moore, Joy Haizelden and Amy Conroy. Jack spoke to Rollt’s Dylan Cummings about the event.
Why did you choose to start up a 3×3 event?
“I have always wanted to host cash prize basketball events, and the 3×3 format is perfect for that.”
How do you intend for the 3×3 game to take off in the UK?
“My goal is to get 3×3 to take off for wheelchair basketball across the world, not just in the UK. The first step was creating the High Rollers 3×3 cash prize event.”
Why are you so passionate about the 3×3 game?
“There are many reasons. The first is that it teaches the basic skills to play good basketball and the high level of fitness and fundamentals that are required to play the game to its full intensity for 10 minutes.”
What new challenges do you think you will face trying to get the 3×3 game off the ground?
“So far, I have found none, so it’s been a good start!”
How does the 3×3 game differ from 5×5?
“Obviously there are less players on court, the clock keeps running for 10 minutes, and the ball stays live, so there is no time to relax or celebrate your great play, because you need to play defence straight away.”
How competitive do you think the 3×3 game will be?
“If played correctly, I think it can be more competitive than 5×5, as you only have 10 minutes to give everything you’ve got.”
Is Team England for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games in your sights?
“To my knowledge there isn’t a team yet. The first exploration camp in England to discuss wheelchair 3×3 is happening the same weekend as our event.”
What’s distinct about Essex compared to the rest of the UK?
“I will answer about the basketball, and to find out what’s so distinct about the culture you will have to come and find out on the 31st! We love to ball, outdoor courts or indoor, we just want to ball and ball hard!”
You have some pretty big names coming to the 3×3 event such as Mariska Beijer and Amy Conroy, how did this come about?
“There is a saying, ‘build it and they will come’, so we built it and they came! We are honoured to have such decorated athletes attending our first event. Not only current world-class athletes, but some legends from the past and still great players.”
How would you describe your style of play?
“Slow and wobbly.”
Has anyone specifically influenced you to play the way you do?
“I give most credit to Essex Outlaws; Alan and John Mansell and Hadj Lahmar.”
What piece of advice has stuck with you throughout your career?
“I wouldn’t class what I have done as a career, but I could write a list of advice that has stuck with me. Best advice I can give, is listen to any advice anyone has to give you, and respect everyone.”
If you could do a training session with three other players from anywhere in the world male or female to improve your skills, which players would you choose and why?
“Audrey Cayol; his shot release is ridiculously fast, and he is a threat whenever he has the ball. Ismail Ar; I would like to play against him to learn some of his moves and to see if I could defend him! Joey Johnson; he was a very quiet, very effective player that got the work done! I’m sure he has lots of knowledge to share.”
Did you teach Gregg Warburton everything he knows?
“Of course, goes without saying. I taught him everything he needed to know about how not to live life as an ‘athlete’!”
Rollt. would like to thank Jack Gibbs for the interview.
Jack Gibbs Profile
Date of Birth: 19/06/1989 (aged 30)
Hometown: Chelmsford, Essex
Started playing: 2006
Disability: T8 Spinal Cord Injury
Current Club: High Rollers, GBR (2019-Present)
_Essex Outlaws, GBR (2006-10, 2012-16)
_Capital City, GBR (2010-11)
_The OWLS, GBR (2011-12)
_HS Sport Varese, ITA (2016-17)
_Baskets 96 Rahden, GER (2017-18)
_Hannover United, GER (2018-19)
_Receiving an All-Star 5 Award at his first and only GB Junior European Championships
_Beating London Titans in the British Premier League semi-final 2015 with Essex Outlaws, this made it possible for the Outlaws to compete in IWBF EuroCup the following year.
_His personal performance against Doneck Dolphins Trier in a playoff game when he played for Hannover United.
The High Rollers 3×3 cash prize event will take place this Saturday (August 31st) at:
Mark Hall Sports Centre
Interview: Dylan Cummings | Photo: Steffie Wunderl