Tai Bibbs honored as Player of the Year


Photo by Theresa Carriveau

Senior Tai Bibbs is the Upstate Eight Valley Conference Player of the Year.

By Theresa Carriveau, Sports Editor/ Photographer

Three-year varsity starter, Tai Bibbs, is Player of the Year in the Upstate Eight Valley Conference and was selected as an All-Conference team member.

Coaches from Upstate Eight select who they felt the best players were during the season and vote on Player of The Year and create an All-Conference team. However, there is no All-Conference game. The players selected only receive a title.

Being the UEC Player of the Year is a big honor for Bibbs, and he is thankful to see all his hard work pay off, but also credits his parents’ role in his personal success.

“They’ve helped me improve mentally and also improve my game over the years,” Bibbs said . “This award is for them and all the time and resources they have sacrificed for me to get to the position I am in today.”

Bibbs averaged 26 points a game and scored 701 points in total over the season. He made 74 3-point baskets and made 77 percent of his free throw shots.

Bibbs was able to achieve these record-breaking stats despite suffering a high ankle sprain midway through the season.

“I never fully recovered, so I played half the season at about 80 percent,” Bibbs said.

Bibbs was released from his National Letter of Intent from Drake University after the head coach resigned in December, ever since he has been recruited nonstop.

Bibbs currently has 17 scholarship offers. The offers are all around the country from University of California Davis, Columbia University and closer to home, Northern Illinois University.

Although the team finished fifth in the conference with a 16-12 record, Bibbs and other teammates still consider it a pretty good season because the team was young. Bibbs and Devonte Pascal were the only seniors on the team.

The admiration the younger players have for Bibbs and Pascal is strong.

“They were some of the best players to come through this program and some of the best students and men to have stepped on this court,” teammate Jeremy Belington said. “They should be recognized for their perfect embodiment of West Chicago’s values, on and off the court.”