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Thomas Gipson III

WILDCAT LEGENDS: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Article by Tyler Jackson

Photography by Kansas State Athletics

Thomas Gipson III

Kansas State Basketball, 2011-2015

  • 2014 All-Big 12 (Honorable Mention)
  • 2015 All-Big 12 (Honorable Mention)
  • Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll (x5)
  • 1,232 points scored over career with 700 rebounds

Manhattan City Lifestyle publisher, Tyler Jackson, spoke with Thomas Gipson III inside the Manhattan Christian College Gym in July 2023, ahead of the Purple & Black TBT basketball tournament.

I'm with the one and only Wildcat basketball legend, Thomas Gibson. My goodness, my friend. Just looking at you takes takes us back to the yester year. Big Gip, what's up? 

What’s up! 

To start off, what originally brought you to Manhattan, Kansas? What brought you to K-State? 

It was a small town that wasn't too far from Texas, and my hometown of Dallas. But it wasn't too close either. So, it was smack dab in the middle. It was perfect for me to be away, to have my own college experience, and my own life per se. But also, if I did need an emergency contact, then I’m only a state or so away from my family. Pretty much just up the road. 

What was your favorite thing about your time at Kansas State University? 

I think the fans. The love & appreciation that they have within the program, and the athletic program specifically. The graduation rate was obviously appealing, too. But I think it was just the overall living, and the college atmosphere life. I think that's one thing I'm truly blessed to say I did. I've had my ups and downs, on and off the court. But I wouldn't trade it for anything because I felt like I truly had a great experience being a kid in Manhattan, Kansas. 

We were grateful for you to choose Manhattan. Those were some good days. 

Yes, those were really good days. 

So what are you up to currently? 

Playing basketball overseas. I have a wife and three kids, so I’m a full-time husband and parent as well. I’m thinking and coming up with and doing podcasts. I'm also doing some other things, just trying to find my way, you know? While I have all the time in the world being overseas, overall, I'm working on my coaching, my philosophy of how I want to do things when it's time for me to hang the ball and shoes up to coach and give back somehow, some way. I’ve got a variety of different things that I do that I'm trying to find my niche in. You know, I'm 30, so I'm still trying to find my way. I got the roadmap down, but I'm just figuring it out and taking it day by day. 

What's the name of your podcast? Where can we find it? 

It’s not officially out yet, but it’s going to be the 4 Pros Podcast. The overall theme of it is to talk to obviously professional athletes. Overseas, NBA-G League, anything like that. You’ll just get overall experiences, and we’ll describe the grind of what it's like to be a professional. Not everybody knows, especially when it comes to being a professional in your craft. Everybody has a certain set of skills, and something that they love, and you got to put your all into it. I want to be able to let people have a voice, and to be able to broadcast and share their stories, their experiences, their highs and lows. What made them get to where they are now? Everybody has a story to tell, and obviously I want to include family members as well. Wives, friends that travel along with people overseas, and things like that. You know, just to get the overall whole aspect. 

As they say, it takes 10,000 hours to master any craft.

Mm-Hmm.

That's a lot of basketball, a lot of podcasting, a lot of magazine writing. That's a lot of time spent working as a welder! 

It takes a lot to become a professional at anything that you do. Everybody on TV, respectfully - wherever they are in the world - they see just the finished product. But, they don't understand the mental grinds. They could see and say, ‘Well, okay. He's just doing three, four workouts today.’ Yeah, that's easy. But, the thing that goes on in-between the ears - the mental fortitude - somebody's probably doing it alone. He doesn't have a handler or somebody that's helping him out with rebounds or anything. This guy's doing it by himself. He doesn't have the right agent that's putting him in perfect situation. He's got to figure it out. He's got to reach out to all these agencies by himself. All these clubs, by himself. All these things he has to figure out, and he’s just getting told no left and right. ‘Maybe you should quit basketball. Maybe you should get a job. Maybe you should do this.’ We’re told lots of stuff. But nah, follow your path. Follow your passion. Follow what you love, and then do it that way. Everybody has a story to tell, like anybody else. I just want to hear people's stories. It's amazing to hear other people's stories. So that's what I'm going to do with my podcast 4 Pros. 

That's phenomenal. I really look forward to hearing it! 

Yeah, thanks man. Obviously, I feel it. I think the first episode is obviously going to be about me and my wife, and then I'm going to have all the K-State guys. Then I'm going to branch out and talk to not even just the Americans. I'm talking about my European guys too. I have Finnish teammates, Turkish teammates, Israeli teammates, everything. So it's going to be a big platform, I feel like. 

I love it, man. It’s going to be good! 

Shoutout to the wife because she honestly suggested me to do it and I'm putting it down. It’s in the works! 

Now the question I love asking everybody, what do you miss the most about Manhattan, Kansas? 

What I miss the most? I think Taco Lucha! <Haha> I love the food here, but overall, I guess I do miss being in Bramlage. The fans in these stands are going to be packed out. Everybody's coming out. It’s a college kid’s atmosphere. Everyone’s having fun and being crazy. It’s a hit or miss overseas like that when it comes to the crowds and everything, that whole basketball vibe & feel. Smaller towns are honestly better than overseas. But that's what I miss the most. Bramlage is cool. The Ville is cool. Even driving into the city yesterday I was wowed! I had a sense of overwhelm coming back. 

Oh ya man, Manhattan is still such a great place to be. And Taco Lucha kinda really is the best place in the world. Like I tell everyone: they’re not exactly the best tacos in the world, but they're exactly the best tacos in the world

Yeah. It is weird, right? <laugh>. It is like in that black bean dip too. Oh, it's, it is nice too, man. I'm about to go get some right now! 

Dude, Thomas. You're awesome. It was great chatting with you. I appreciate it. Good luck with the podcast!

Thank you so much! 

Thomas Gipson III is set to begin his 10th season of professional basketball overseas in 2014. The 4 Pros Podcast was launched on September 28, 2023. Find 4 Pros Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow Thomas on Instagram at 42_gipson 

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