MAYODAN — Former McMichael basketball player Gabe Caple, who recently graduated this past spring, was presented with the Gildan Scholar Athlete of the Year Award on Thursday morning at the high school.
The Gildan Award is presented annually to student-athletes that achieve excellence in athletics and in the classroom.
Caple, a four-year varsity starter for the Phoenix, was the team’s leading scorer during his senior season, averaging 16.4 points per game as a point guard.
McMichael head basketball coach Randel Galloway said during his freshman season, he was short-handed while waiting on several football players to join the squad, so out of necessity, Caple was thrown into the starting lineup. But he said Caple quickly earned his stripes as well as the respect of his teammates as he proved he was the right man for the job. As it turned out, it was a position he would never again relinquish over the course of his entire high school career.
“He stepped into a tough situation, but he really lived up to it. Through hard work and determination, combined with his talent, he earned that job. Gabe is a great young man. One of the nicest you will ever meet — and he was a great leader throughout his years,” Galloway said.
Caple received Mid-State 2A / 3A All Conference honors as both a junior and senior and scored his 1,000th career point in McMichael’s 69-67 win over Bassett on Dec. 2, 2019.
He was known for his well-rounded game as the type of player that could run the floor, had excellent ball handling skills and a good inside-out game.
“Gabe led through example and he left it all on the court. He was the first to dive on the floor for the ball and wasn’t afraid to take the big shot, but also, if it wasn’t there, he would pass to a teammate in a better position. He was a guy who wanted to please his coaches and he always did the right thing,” the coach said.
To be nominated for the Gildan Award a student-athlete must have an unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher. In addition, Gildan nominees must play at least two sports and selected as All-Conference at least twice during their junior and senior years.
Over the course of his high school career, Caple also ran cross-country and played tennis in addition to basketball.
Caple will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.