West Point's Gibson to play hoops for MUW

 West Point High School Basketball Coach, Donta Yates with Michael Gibson and his mother, Francine Gibson Binder. Gibson signs to play basketball for the Mississippi University for Women's men's basketball team.
Staff Writer

Michael Gibson, a graduate of West Point High School, has signed to play basketball with the newly formed Mississippi University for Women Owls Basketball team.

This is the first time there has been a men's basketball team in the school's history.

The MUW began accepting men in 1981, but until now, there were no organized sports for the men on campus. That is about to change.

"MUW is lucky to have Michael," Yates said. "He was the most athletic person on the team. He led in 3-point percentages as a shooting guard. I'm very proud of him."

Gibson said he was the second man to sign to play for the Owls. He knows of one other player, Quinn Williams, who is coming straight out of high school.

"The other players are being recruited out of community colleges," Gibson said. "We start class in two weeks. I'm really excited to go to college. I'm thinking about majoring in sports medicine."

Gibson's mother, Francine Gibson Binder, is proud of her son and is pleased he will be going to MUW in Columbus.

"This is a proud mom moment," Binder said. "In our family we call him Anthony, not Michael. But we know how hard he worked to get to this moment. He played baseball and football, but basketball is his passion."

Binder said her son will be a part of MUW history in playing for the first year of the first men's team in the school's history.

"Having him close to home is important," Binder said. "I know they'll be traveling to play other teams, but even then he's only a phone call away. I'm so proud I can't stop smiling."

Yates considers himself not only a coach but a mentor. Gibson was at a crossroads in his life when the choices made as a young person can impact the rest of his life.

"Mike was new to the team and he had something of a reputation," Yates said. "I lot of people had already counted him out. But I told him if he'd give me five months, I could change his life. He was committed to playing basketball as a team player. Now he's taking that talent to the W. I can't say how proud I am of him."