Savouring the final few games of her university career, Gibb set to lead Griffins against Pandas Wednesday

Hannah Gibb will lead the Griffins into a rare Wednesday night game against Alberta (Robert Antoniuk photo).
Hannah Gibb will lead the Griffins into a rare Wednesday night game against Alberta (Robert Antoniuk photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Blessed with the ability to knock down shots all over the court, Hannah Gibb has contributed in many ways for the MacEwan Griffins women's basketball team over the course of her career.

That university basketball run will soon be coming to an end for the distinguished graduating senior, a four-time Academic All-Canadian, who plans to attend medical school after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Cellular Biology with a minor in psychology this spring.

It's fair to say Gibb will be soaking in all the memories from her last few weekends playing university ball.

The Griffins (2-7) have seven regular season games remaining, including a home contest on Wednesday vs. Alberta (8-1) – rescheduled from Jan. 15 – which takes over the David Atkinson Gym at 7 p.m. (Canada West TV presented by Co-op).

"I guess what goes through my mind is just enjoying these last few weekends," said the Lethbridge product. "Just enjoying the practices, the girls and the environment – also, enjoying where we're headed. Just from this last weekend, we're starting to figure some things out, so I'll just be enjoying that process of coming to the end and just taking it all in."

The Griffins enter Wednesday's game against their cross-town rival after a huge 67-66 win over U SPORTS No. 9 Calgary last Saturday. As is the case with any victory, you'd like to play again as soon as possible to keep rolling.

"We're certainly riding the momentum of our performance last weekend against Calgary and we're excited to carry that on and continue to build on the good things we're doing as a team right now," said MacEwan head coach Katherine Adams, whose team will also play home games this week against Lethbridge (6-4) on Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (5 p.m., both David Atkinson Gym, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).

"It's presented challenges in other ways in preparation, managing healthy bodies and making sure we're as rested and recovered and prepared as possible, but it's certainly a challenge we're looking forward to."

Gibb is logging 21.1 minutes a game for the Griffins in her final season and has been good for 5.9 points per game so far.

"That's something you can never undervalue – having someone who can knock down open shots," said Adams. "It just changes the way a defence has to play and opens up a lot of opportunities for other people when you have that outside threat teams have to worry about."

And Gibb has been doing that for the Griffins since 2017, amassing 281 career points so far.

Hannah Gibb and the Griffins will go against Jayden Tanner and the Alberta Pandas on Wednesday night at the David Atkinson Gym (Robert Antoniuk photo).

"From the time she entered the program, Hannah has always given us something really valuable," said Adams. "Her ability to knock down open shots has earned her the opportunity to get minutes right away.

"She's filled some different roles over her time here, but it's certainly exciting to see she's playing her best basketball as she nears the end of her career with us."

That includes evolving as a player who can bring other things to the table besides a sweet jumper.

"I've always kind of been a little bit of a shooter, but being able to expand that and getting more in the paint … sometimes, not always – I still like to stay out by the three," she noted with a chuckle. "But I think also on the defensive end, I'm trying to be more of a presence rebounding defensively and offensively."

The Griffins are trending up as they wind towards the season-ending playoff tournament Feb. 25-27. To keep rolling, they all need to keep working together within their own roles.

"I think this past weekend was the first taste we got of what it could look like if we're firing on all cylinders," said Adams. "Just the way that the team moved for one another, shared the ball and created scoring opportunities for one another, it was just a really, really great showing of team basketball.

"Defensively, we're just working together to really dig in and find our identity a little bit more, which we know is going to fuel offence and help us perform the way we know we're capable of."

And when the ride ends for Gibb, she will have lifelong memories.

"It's just been such a great team experience," she said. "Katherine's done a really good job at bringing people in that fit our culture, so you're just around like-minded people and it's awesome to be able to build those bonds and get to know more people.

"You get to enjoy doing what you love – basketball – with people who also enjoy it."