Every player on this unbelievable Hurricanes team has their own story. Whether it's being the son of a hall-of-fame baseball player or a transfer from a small school. There are also stories that are bigger than basketball and overcoming adversity, and that's what Julian Gamble's story gives us.
If you did not know by now, Julian Gamble is a six-year senior and has battled some incredible things on and off the court. Gamble started off his collegiate career being red-shirted as a freshman. Gamble then went on to play his next two seasons, but was not finding much success.
Gamble averaged 2.4 points per game and snatched down 2.5 rebounds during the 2008-2009 season and averaged 3.5 PPG and 2.9 RPG during his junior season.
After showing signs of improvement during that junior season, Gamble suffered a heart-breaking, Torn ACL during the summer of 2011 which forced him to sit out his senior season. The NCAA, however, granted the 6'10 forward a "clock extension" and he was ruled eligible for the 2012-2013 season.
This isn't an Adrian Peterson-like comeback, but it is pretty darn impressive.
Julian Gamble had some offensive-woes to say the least, early in his career, but that never stopped his intensity or the way he approached the game of basketball. He's always been a good post-defender and rebounder, but surprisingly his offense is much improved in now his sixth-season. If you add up Gamble's points total from his sophomore and junior year, you get a total of 258 points. Heading into the round of 32 game in the NCAA tournament, Gamble has accumulated for 228 points alone this season, en route to a career-best 6.7 points per game.
Coming off an ACL tear is hard enough for any athlete of any level, but every athlete that has suffered this injury seems to have a motivation in which to come back from such a serious injury.
For Julian Gamble, his motivation is his nine-year old nephew, Cameron Powell.
When the story was written for the Miami Herald about Gamble's story with his nephew, I could not help but to tear up a bit because I have a nephew of my own and I pictured myself in that situation. Gamble has dedicated his success to his nine-year old nephew that has been suffering from cerebral palsy and Bartter syndrome.
Gamble has made it well-know that everything he has worked for and accomplished with this Hurricanes team is dedicated to his nephew, Cameron and I think that is fantastic.
Julian Gamble gets high praise from everybody in the program, but none bigger than what his coach thinks of him. Here are some words about Julian Gamble from Coach Larranaga:
Julian Gamble I think is the story of our team because of his torn ACL and not being able to play. Now being in his sixth year and working on his Master's Degree, showing his toughness in the post defensively, rebounding, and his scoring around the basket has been one of the major reasons we've enjoyed the success we've had.
Now lets take a look at some of the incredible things Gamble does on the hardwood. I don't think I've seen anything like this in a live game before. Julian Gamble protected his rim and swatted three consecutive shots in one possession. If you haven't seen the performance, here you go: (via ACCDigitalNetwork)
Personally speaking, if there is one player that I would describe exactly what being a Miami Hurricane is like, it would be Julian Gamble. #45 has shown us what it's like to play for something that's bigger than basketball and play it at a high level. He also plays the voice of his teammates in pre and post game interviews and always shares good things with the media.
Some things you might not know about Julian Gamble:
He was born on September 15, 1989 in Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from the University of Miami in May 2012 with a degree in sports administration and a minor in business administration. He's currently working on a second degree in liberal arts.
Oh, and he likes to have fun: (via ACCDigitalNetwork)