by Rusty Ellis
Former White County multi-sport star Kyle Gribble was inducted into the Carson-Newman Athletics Hall of Fame on Jan. 20.
Gribble’s college career saw him score 1,472 points and lead the Eagles to two regular season conference championships, one tournament championship and a Sweet 16 appearance in his junior season. He was also the program’s first-ever NCAA All-American.
When it came to this accomplishment, Gribble says he was actually speechless to be recognized like this.
“It was a surreal moment, all of the hard work and the blood, sweat and tears were made worth it even more,” Gribble said. “I had a lot of great teammates, basketball’s a team sport and I was very fortunate to have some great teammates over the years on each level…It makes me appreciate the people I’ve had around me for my career.”
Gribble was informed this past summer that he was on the ballot, and even then, it was something he never imagined would actually happen.
“I was really speechless for the first 15 to 20 seconds,” Gribble said. “I never thought about being in any Hall of Fame…you think about the greats when you think Hall of Fame. It almost brought tears to my eyes that people considered me that kind of player.”
When it comes to memories from his time as an Eagle, Gribble says he remembers the many accomplishments from his junior year that included long winning streaks and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.
“My junior year was the first year I was able to focus on just one sport, and it really showed,” Gribble said. “That was the best year in basketball in Carson-Newman history. We won 19 games in a row, and we went 26-5. We played in the Sweet 16 and hosted the Regional Tournament for Division II…the chemistry on the team was unbelievable, we had a lot of good guys on that team.”
It’s still sinking in for Gribble, and he says it likely won’t be until he receives his plaque and ring for the Hall of Fame that it’ll really hit him.
“They said my All-American photo is going to be etched on there, so that’ll be pretty surreal,” Gribble said. “It feels really big-time right now…I looked at the Hall of Fame case there and the plaques look just like the players. I’m really just blown away by the artwork and the quality of the plaques. That’ll likely be when it sets in that I’ve made it to this point.”