May 9, 2011
HOUSTON - Navarro College forward Leon Gibson became the newest member of the University of Houston men's basketball team after signing a National Letter of Intent, head coach James Dickey announced Monday afternoon.
"We are extremely excited about adding Leon to our program," Dickey said. "He gives us needed size and athleticism on the front line. Leon is a quality person and all-around student-athlete."
A native of Downey, Calif., Gibson spent the last two seasons playing at Navarro College for head coach Johnny Estelle. As a sophomore in 2010-11, he was named a Region XIV All-Conference Honorable Mention after averaging 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
Gibson, who was ranked as the No. 18 junior college prospect nationally by JucoJunction.com, ranked sixth in the region with his rebounding total and connected on 50.7 percent (110-of-217) of his field-goal attempts.
He was recognized as the Region XIV Player of the Week for Jan. 22 after averaging 19.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in late January. He finished with 23 points and 12 boards in a win against Lee College and totaled 16 points, seven rebounds and a pair of steals against Lamar State-Port Arthur.
As a freshman at Navarro in 2009-10, Gibson was teammates with current Cougar guard Darian Thibodeaux. That year, they helped lead the Bulldogs to the NJCAA Final Four and the second of back-to-back Region XIV championships.
Thibodeaux recently finished his first season at Houston and was the only player to start all 33 games.
UPDATED SIGNING CLASS
Gibson became the seventh player in the Cougars' overall signing class and the second during the spring period. North DeSoto (La.) High forward LeRon Barnes joined the Cougars in late April.
Junior forward Jonathon Simmons (Houston, Texas/Midland JC), freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers (Terrell, Texas/Terrell HS), freshman forward TaShawn Thomas (Killeen, Texas/Killeen HS) and freshman point guard J.J. Thompson (Irving, Texas/Irving HS) signed with Houston in the fall.
That group will join redshirt redshirt freshman guard and Yates High star Joseph Young, who sat out the 2010-11 season with the Cougars. Young will have four years of eligibility remaining in 2011-12.
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl.-Exp. Hometown-High School (Last School) LeRon Barnes F 6-6 195 Fr.-HS Stonewall, La.-North DeSoto Leon Gibson F 6-9 235 Jr.-JC Downey, Calif.-Serra (Navarro JC) Jonathon Simmons F 6-6 190 Jr.-JC Houston, Texas-Smiley (Midland JC) Jherrod Stiggers G 6-5 200 Fr.-HS Terrell, Texas-Terrell TaShawn Thomas F 6-8 215 Fr.-HS Killeen, Texas-Killeen J.J. Thompson G 6-0 185 Fr.-HS Irving, Texas-Irving Joseph Young* G 6-3 185 r-Fr.-RS Houston, Texas-Yates* - practiced with the team in 2010-11 but did not compete in any games... Will have four years of eligibility remaining in 2011-12.
F 6-9 235 Jr.-JC
Downey, Calif.-Serra HS (Navarro JC)
ABOUT LEON GIBSON
Athletic upperclassmen who brings size and athleticism to the program... Talented scorer who can hit shots from the inside and the outside... Runs the floor well... Has tremendous potential... Hails from an award-winning junior program.
NAVARRO JUNIOR COLLEGE
Competed for head coach Johnny Estelle... Played with current Cougar teammate Darian Thibodeaux during the 2009-10 season. Sophomore (2010-11): Named Region XIV All-Conference Honorable Mention... Averaged 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game to help lead team to a 20-11 overall record... Ranked sixth in Region XIV with his rebounding total... Connected on 50.7 percent (110-of-217) of his field-goal attempts... Honored as the Region XIV Player of the Week after averaging 19.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game for the week of Jan. 22... Scored 11 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in a loss to Paris College during the Region 14 Tournament. Freshman (2009-10): Helped lead the Bulldogs to the NJCAA Final Four and the second of back-to-back Region XIV championships.
SERRA HIGH SCHOOL
Graduated in 2009.
Born Oct. 8, 1991... Son of Anthony and Blanche Herron.