Kyle Kenney, Matthew Wilkins, Emmanuel Deng and Gabe Cupps have all been in the program for 4 years and have helped to bring this program up to a level of excellence that is respected not only in Ohio but throughout the country. Collin O'Connor and Tommy Gankhuyag have joined the Elks for their senior year after moving into Centerville City Schools and are certainly making huge contributions to this year's team and buying into our basketball culture.
Hats off to Emmanuel, Kyle and Matthew for buying into and accepting their roles in this program and there is no doubt that all 3 of these young men have had a huge hand with where we are right now as a program.
I would like to give special thanks to senior Gabe Cupps. This young man has handled all of the attention, notoriety, expectations and pressure that comes with who he is as a player and also playing for his father. For those that may think Gabe's success is directly related to his father being the coach, I would invite you to come and see the hard work that this kid puts in. Head Coach Brook Cupps is as good as there is in the business. He has certainly helped guide Gabe as a player and deserves as much credit for Gabe's development as he does with all of our players. However, Gabe is who he is because of the relentless pursuit of excellence that Gabe has been on for all 12 years that I have known this kid.
We have many athletes that put in a lot of time and effort here at Centerville and I do not want to take anything away from them but bar none, Gabe is the hardest working athlete I have ever been around in my 32 years of education and athletics. However, to me, what separates Gabe is how he goes about his business. He never brings attention to himself. He just plays basketball the way it should be played. You would want all players to emulate Gabe's demeanor on and off the court.
Let's talk a bit about what has happened on that court since Gabe came into our basketball program. Going into Friday night the Elks are 40-5 in the GWOC and 86-18 overall. Gabe is the catalyst for everything our team does offensively and defensively. His ability to score multiple ways is vital to our team’s success, but his ability to take care of the basketball while creating shots for his teammates is one of the biggest reasons for our basketball program's success. Gabe’s leadership has been incredible over these 4 years and he has been relentless in holding players to the program standards while providing support and guidance along the way. His competitiveness and toughness are his best attributes and set the culture and tone for this program in practice and games.
Gabe was 2nd team all-state as a freshmen and 1st team all-state as a sophomore and junior. Gabe was the GWOC Player of the Year along with being the Media and OHSBCA Ohio Mr. Basketball as a junior.
Gabe currently holds 11 program records: Assist Career - 522, Assists Season - 205, Assists Game - 14, FT% Season - 85.2%, Most Consecutive FT Game - 14, Steals Season - 61, Steals Career - 174, Charges Taken Season - 30, Charges Taken Career - 68, Games Played - 102,
Career Wins - 86
He is currently 2nd All-Time Scoring with 1421 points.
I know that the strength of this program is that no one person is above the program and the culture is to always put the team first. I am not writing this article to separate Gabe from his teammates but I do want everyone to understand and appreciate just what this young man has accomplished so far here at Centerville. You are not done seniors!
I hope that all of you make it out Friday night to watch these 6 incredible seniors play their last game here at Centerville! Remember tickets are only available online at