A long relationship with coach Greg McDermott figured heavily into guard Grant Gibbs' decision to join the Creighton basketball program.
The former Linn-Mar (Iowa) High School star told The World-Herald on Thursday night that he is transferring from Gonzaga. He will have to sit out next season and will have at least two seasons of eligibility. He received a medical redshirt his true freshman year because of a shoulder injury.
"It's something we have to check into,'' Gibbs said. "From what I've been told, I'll have two years.''
Gibbs' relationship with McDermott goes back to when he used to attend McDermott's basketball camps when he was the coach at Northern Iowa. McDermott also tried to recruit the 6-foot-4 Gibbs, ranked among the top 20 points guards and top 100 players coming out of high school by one recruiting service, when he was coaching at Iowa State.
"He recruited me hard, but at the time, I didn't feel Iowa State was the right place for me,'' Gibbs said. "But he was probably the coach I was most comfortable with. When I found out he was going to Creighton, I decided I definitely wanted to check into it.''
Gibbs also considered Northern Iowa and Iowa State before making his decision to commit to the Bluejays.
Creighton also had expressed interest in Gibbs when he was still in high school in Marion, Iowa. Creighton assistant coach Darian DeVries, whom McDermott retained from former coach Dana Altman's staff, was involved in the recruitment of Gibbs both times.
"I had looked at Creighton because I knew it was close to home and had great tradition,'' Gibbs said. "Coach DeVries originally told me that they did not have a scholarship available but they would contact me if something opened up.
"Something did open up but at the time, I was pretty close to making my decision.''
That decision was to attend Gonzaga, the Spokane, Wash., school that Gibbs said was his dream school growing up. After sitting out his true freshman year with the torn labrum in his shoulder that required surgery, Gibbs played 24 games last season with the Zags, averaging 2.2 points and 9.3 minutes per game while battling other injuries.
The injuries put Gibbs behind a couple of other players in the rotation, and he never got to play the point as much as he wanted to, he said.
"Obviously, the injuries were the big thing there,'' Gibbs said. "I was never able to establish myself. Still, I left having no bad feelings. It just turned out not to be the right situation for me.
"Looking back on it, maybe I didn't look at the situation as closely as I should have coming out of high school. It was my dream school. Now, I feel Creighton is the best place for me.''
Gibbs visited Creighton over the Memorial Day weekend. He will be back in Omaha to start summer school on Monday.
He said his availability for summer conditioning drills will be limited as he is recovering from knee surgery.''
"I had bad tendonitis, and they believe the procedure to clean up some things will help that,'' Gibbs said. "I'm rehabbing but I haven't been cleared to start playing. I'll meet with the doctors when I get there, but right now, my health is the No. 1 concern.
"I have a lot of time to get ready, and the important thing is to get healthy.''