GREENVILLE – Greenville senior Isaiah Gable signed his letter of intent to play Division I college basketball at Southeast Missouri State University.
Gable, the son of Jim and Liz Gable, said it’s always been his goal to play college basketball at the Division I level.
“It feels great,” Gable said. “It just makes all the hard work that I put in all these years (worth it). It’s been a dream of mine to play especially college basketball but Division I basketball it’s been a dream of mine.”
Southeast Missouri competes in the Ohio Valley Conference along with Austin Peay, Belmont, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and UT Martin.
Gable is confident that his skills will allow him to succeed at the Division I level, but he said he’ll have to get better to compete.
“I definitely have to get bigger and stronger, more athletic,” said Gable, who plans to study business. “But I think my skills really will put me in a good position right away, but of course I’ll have to improve my ball handling a little bit and get bigger and stronger.”
Gable’s high school coaches agree that he’s a hard worker who will do what it takes to succeed.
“The kid lives in the gym, does it all as hard as he can all the time, and it’s paid off for him,” said Michael Bashore, who was Gable’s varsity basketball coach at Greenville his first three years of high school. “I couldn’t be happier for a kid than I am for Isaiah.”
Kyle Joseph was the Green Wave’s varsity coach during Gable’s senior season at Greenville. Joseph previously served as a student assistant at the University of Akron so he’s seen Division I basketball firsthand and knows what it takes to succeed at that level.
“I think he’s going to a good program where he’s going to be in a good position to succeed,” Joseph said. “I’ve been around that level, and I know the caliber of athletes. He certainly fits right in. He won’t be out of place at all when he gets there.”
Gable was named first team all-Greater Western Ohio Conference as a senior as he led the Green Wave with 21.2 points per game while adding 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game. He finished his high school career third on Greenville’s all-time scoring list and set the Green Wave’s career 3-point record.
“He’s extremely skilled, especially for his size,” Joseph said of the 6-foot 7-inch Gable. “Really shoots the ball well but can do a lot with the ball in his hands, too, as far as creating for others.”
The best part about Gable is his attitude and work ethic, Bashore said.
“They’ll love him,” Bashore said. “He’s a great kid on and off the floor. They’re getting a gem.”
Gable chose Southeast Missouri because of its coaches, he said.
“I love the coaches there – Coach (Rick) Ray, Coach (Chris) Moore, Coach (Nick) Lagroone and all of them – they’re really, really good family people,” Gable said. “They’re a good location so we play around here a bunch of road games. They play in a great arena, the Show Me Center.”
This past season Southeast Missouri finished 15-18 overall and 9-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Redhawks made it to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament before losing to Jacksonville State.
At Southeast Missouri Gable will be a forward, possibly playing three or four role.
“They kind of play like a kind of four out and one in so that’s kind of how we play here, kind of play four wings, four guys outside and then one guy inside,” Gable said. “So I think it will transition well.”
Gable is encouraged by the strong recruiting classes Southeast Missouri has had, he said, and wants to help the Redhawks get to the NCAA tournament.
“I just want to win some championships there, play in the tournament – that’s a dream of mine,” he said.