Gabe Cupps loves competition, on and off the basketball court. The 17-year-old Centerville High School junior point guard drives himself to beat his opponents and his own personal best.
His dad, a coach, put a ball in his hands early in life. Gabe was rewarded with stickers for his practice time. As he grew, he learned to love fast-paced games, pitting his athleticism against most sports. Eventually he chose basketball as his main sport.
“I love competition, and basketball is the format I do it in,” he says.
Gabe was recently named Ohio Mr. Basketball by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association.
This past season he helped lead the Centerville Elks to 45 consecutive wins and a state runner-up finish.
He averaged 14.3 points per game this year, with 6.8 assists, 2.5 rebounds, and 2 steals. He recently committed to play basketball for Indiana University, after he graduates in 2024.
Gabe has his sights set on playing in the NBA, once he is eligible. That’s Plan A. There is no Plan B.
Q: What does being named Ohio Mr. Basketball mean to you?
A: I’m grateful for the award. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and the people around me. I have never pursued awards; I just love to play the game. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the team and the success we had this year.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
A: My goals keep me motivated. I love the game, so it’s easy to stay focused.
Q: How do you psych yourself up for a good game? What do you tell yourself when the game doesn’t go as well as you had hoped?
A: I think it’s dumb to not go out and play as hard as I can, when I’ve put so much work into it. I ask myself why it didn’t go well and how I can be better next time.
Q: Who is your hero (on the court, off the court, or both)?
A: My dad. He is the hardest worker I know. He does whatever it takes, and he has helped me a lot with basketball and life. The person I am today is greatly because of him.
Q: What about your mom?
A: She’s been my biggest supporter and has taken me to all my practices. She’s always been a servant leader to me, and she does whatever the family needs. She holds our family together.
Q: Who is most proud of you?
A: My Mamaw Brenda. She is my dad’s mom and has been to almost every game my whole life. She is the most selfless woman.
Q: Who do you want to be most like?
A: Jesus. My family has always talked about God. Everything always relates back to that for me.
Q: How has the game of basketball shaped who you are? How do you hope to shape the game?
A: It’s instilled my work ethic and given me a platform for my purpose, which is to inspire others to use their God given gifts.
Q: How tall are you, and are you still growing?
A: I’m 6'2", and I hope to grow taller!