Money from Coach Premuel Gibson Alumni Scholarship Tournament will establish fund

BY SHARRON HALEY
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 9/14/18

MANNING - Premuel Louise Crosby Gibson will be honored on Sept. 29 when many of her former students, athletes and peers gather for the Coach Premuel Gibson Alumni Scholarship Tournament which will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Manning High School's …

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Money from Coach Premuel Gibson Alumni Scholarship Tournament will establish fund

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MANNING - Premuel Louise Crosby Gibson will be honored on Sept. 29 when many of her former students, athletes and peers gather for the Coach Premuel Gibson Alumni Scholarship Tournament which will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Manning High School's gymnasium.

Gibson died in April 2018 after a long and very successful tenure as a coach and teacher.

When the Clarendon County Education Association held its annual meeting in 2018, its members made it their goal to establish a scholarship in Gibson's name, said MHS Principal Preston Threatt, a member of the CCED.

"Mrs. Gibson worked and taught children at the current Manning High School and the old Manning High School, and she befriended many graduates of the old Manning Training School," Threatt added. "That's three eras of students that Mrs. Gibson knew, taught and coached."

Threatt said the foundation decided to host the fundraiser on the same weekend as MHS' homecoming game.

"More alumni attend that game than any other game," Threatt said. "Many of the alumni hold reunions and parties over the weekend. We thought holding the game on that weekend would create a lot of interest."

Gibson played a vital role in the academics and athletics of Clarendon School District 2 for almost four decades. In 1970 when Gibson began her tenure at CSD2, she opened the school's gymnasium for children to play basketball because the county didn't have a place for them to play.

"She loved children. She loved sports. She didn't want to see her students on the streets," Threatt added.

Threatt said he remembers meeting Gibson in 1983 when he relocated to South Carolina and she was a coach at the district's middle school.

"Every person, athlete in Clarendon 2 loved Coach (John) Thames with a lot of his athletes going on to play at the college level. And, I believe he would agree that many of those same athletes played for Gibson in middle school," Threatt said. "She was a part of the foundation and tradition of athletics in this district."

Although Gibson coached basketball, she supported other coaches.

"She attended all of our games. She supported all students by attending high school events, concerts, FFA programs and other events. She was involved completely," Threatt said.

Gibson made a positive impact on all students, not just athletes. She encouraged good sportsmanship in all CSD2 athletics, and she was very professional in all that she did, Threatt added.

Not only did Gibson know the names of her students' parents, but she also didn't hesitate letting her students know that if they weren't keeping up in the classroom or on the court that she'd make a quick phone call to those parents. She let her students and athletes know that she wasn't their friend. She was their teacher and their mentor, and she didn't hesitate to help them in all aspects of their lives, Threatt said.

"Mrs. Gibson was always encouraging. She was active in professional organizations, including the Coaches Association and High School League," Threat said.

Through the decades that Gibson coached and taught, she established a bond with her students and athletes.

"They would return home and go to a ball game or event and seek her out," Threatt said. "They'd go over and acknowledge her. That shows the real impact that she had on their lives, and I'm talking about grown men and women, former military, she touched their lives."

Threatt said the foundation agreed that basketball games held in her honor would be a fitting tribute to a coach and teacher who played an integral part in the lives of her players and students.

Current and former MHS women athletes will take the court first, while current and former Monarch men athletes will take to the hardwoods at 3 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. The net proceeds from the game will establish the Coach Premuel Gibson Scholarship Fund.

There are at least two ways for MHS' alumni to show support, Threatt added.

"MHS graduates can play in the ballgame, or they can make a donation directly to the foundation in Mrs. Gibson's name," he said.

The game will be limited to the first 30 women and 30 men to register for the event. There is a $25 per person registration fee which will include a commemorative T-shirt. Warm-ups, game playing and remembering the "glory days" will begin at noon. Registration forms including the registration fee must be returned to MHS on or before Sept. 21.

Individuals, businesses or organizations can also participate in the event by becoming a sponsor. Gold level sponsorships are available for a donation of $1,000 or more. Silver sponsorships are offered for donations of $500 to $999. Bronze sponsorships are $100 to $499 and Platinum sponsorships are $25 to $99. Checks can be mailed to Clarendon School District Two Education Foundation, c/o Barry Ham, Bank of Clarendon, Premuel Gibson Scholarship Fund, PO Box 520, Manning SC 29102.