Michael Gibson is the first men’s basketball player in program history to be inducted into the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame.
Gibson came to USC Upstate in 1978 with hopes of rejuvenating a struggling the-USC Spartanburg Rifles basketball team. Four years later, he helped them earn a national championship.
During his four years as a Rifle, the program compiled an overall record of 78-50 (compared to 16-90 the previous four seasons), advanced to the NAIA District Six Tournament all four seasons, captured two District championships and won the 1981-82 NAIA National Championship.
Gibson was named an NAIA First Team All-American as a senior and an honorable mention as a junior, and he was the Most Valuable Player of the 1982 NAIA National Tournament. He ranks second in program history in rebounds (930), and is third in field goals made (1,390), fourth in scoring (1,722) and 10th games played (120).
In 1982, Gibson was selected in the second round (44th overall selection) of the NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets. He went on to play four years in the NBA for the Bullets, Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns. He also played professional basketball in Italy for several years.