Gabby Gallup vaguely remembers the performance she had against Pass Christian during her sophomore season at PCS in 2016.
“I do remember playing good,” she said.
Her coach, Matthew Lofton, went a step further.
“I don’t forget any games, and that’s a blessing and a curse, actually,” he joked. “But in that game, she ended up with 20-something points.”
William Carey’s Jessica Garriga happened to be in attendance as Gallup dropped 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and the first-year assistant coach approached Lofton after the game.
“She [Garriga] came up to me and said, ‘Yeah, I love your kids, but tell me more about No. 11 [Gallup]’. That’s where the relationship started.”
And it evolved over time. After averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds per game her junior season, Gallup was offered a scholarship by Carey head coach Tracy English in the summer leading into her senior year at PCS. She verbally committed to William Carey about two months ago and made her decision official Thursday by putting pen to paper, becoming the 10th Lady Bobcat in program history to sign a basketball scholarship.
A career 1000-point scorer at PCS, Gallup left her mark on the program, according to Lofton.
“Her statistics are amazing, but the biggest thing for me is, when she stepped on the floor, she had an air of confidence to her and a calming factor to our other players,” he said. “And when we needed a big shot or a draw-up to win or tie a game, she was getting the ball 99 percent of the time.
“Also, we tell our kids all the time to be really good at the things that nobody understands, and what I mean by that is the camaraderie and chemistry. For our girls, who have looked at Gabby year after year and said, ‘That’s who I wanna be and how I wanna play’, for them to be able to drive two miles across the street and watch her play is a dream come true.”
In the early stages of her basketball career, Gallup didn’t expect the opportunity to ever come. To her, it was just as Lofton described it—a dream. But even with an offer in hand and a chance to make it a reality, she initially struggled on deciding whether to jump at the opportunity or just be a student after high school. Then, on Feb. 19, the final buzzer of PCS’ 2018-2019 season sounded, and just like that, her Lady Bobcat career was over.
“I realized I wouldn’t be playing anymore,” Gallup said. “And I was like, ‘This is something I wanna do because I love doing it’. I had the opportunity, so why not take it?”
For three seasons, Gallup showcased her versatility at PCS, playing wherever on the court the Lady Bobcats needed her most. The expectation, though, is for her to play the two at William Carey, and that excites Lofton.
“She’ll be able to shoot the three, which she’s very good at,” he said. “But, she can also beat you off the bounce. I’ll be excited to see how William Carey uses her.
“I told Coach [Tracy] English earlier I normally make five or six games a year, but I’ll have to be a season ticket holder now for sure.”