LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVDN) – Greenbrier East Spartan senior Jude Libby stands out from the rest of his teammates on the basketball court.
It is not because of his ability to hit the 3 because the other guys can do that too. It is not even his team-first attitude because well, his other teammates have good ones as well.
It is simple. Libby is the tallest player on the team.
Libby typically gets the responsibility to guard the opposing teams’ big man, and he can then create a mismatch on the offensive end with his ability to shoot from the outside.
Libby is the ultimate glue guy that every team needs. His unselfish play and desire to win stands out above everything else. He has had some big games this season, like against Huntington at the Beckley Armory, when East came from 18 points down to ultimately win the game. Libby hit two huge triples in the waning minutes to help the Spartans secure that victory.
But even with those good games in mind, what Libby remembers always revolves around his team first and the camaraderie they have shared over the years.
“I don’t have a particular memory that stands out, but I think the memories of winning with the people that I consider my brothers are the most important. Nothing makes me happier than winning and getting to play along with this group. Most of us have been playing together since we were in second and third grade, and we have built such a strong bond together,” Libby said.
“We consider ourselves family. because that’s what we are — on and off the court — and what makes it so special is we win together and we lose together, but at the end of the day we’re still family. I wouldn’t trade the memories of me being able to play with this group of guys for anything,” he continued.
It only makes sense that a team-first guy is also family-first and Libby knows he has the best one around.
“My family has had a huge impact on my time at East,” he said. “They’ve made a lot of sacrifices for me, and they’ve helped put me into a position where I can be successful in whatever career I pursue along with helping me get through the highs and lows of high school. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
He had family by his side for his senior night against Bluefield on Feb. 22, and that was a moment Libby will never forget.
“Senior night was great. There were a lot of emotions from the players and me, but it definitely gave us a sense of urgency, and we wanted to end our senior night on a bang, and I felt like we did that. The crowd was great; our team was great; and I felt like it was a near perfect night for me and for the other seven seniors.
“Now, I feel we picked up some momentum going into sectionals, and I feel like we can make a run, and being able to beat Bluefield after losing to them three of the last four times we’ve played them in the last two years was definitely much needed,” Libby added.
Libby has learned a lot during his four years at the school, and not being satisfied with something may be his biggest take away from it all.
“I’ve learned many things during my time at East, but I think something that has stuck with me the most is staying consistent. I’ve learned that if you become satisfied and complacent with something, there is no room for improvement. I believe that if you want to be great at something, you need to always push the envelope and always look for improvement. I believe that applies to anything that you do, whether it’s a job, a sport, or anything in life, and I’ve taken this from the sport of basketball. I’ve applied it to my everyday life along with my future,” Libby said.
Not being satisfied or complacent involves his Spartan team as well. If their state tournament aspirations are to come true, they have to strive to be better than ever.
“The main goal I have for my future is trying to be better than I was the day before, whether it’s basketball, school or whatever I pursue. I want to be better, and I believe that by doing that I will be able to seek out new experiences that I might enjoy, and I believe that mentality will help me live a happier and more stable life,” Libby said.
“Going into sectionals, I believe the goal is to be the best we can be, and the obvious answer is winning a state championship, but there are steps that need to be taken. I believe the goal for me along with the rest of the team is focus on the next one and win, and knowing that we gave it all we could,” he added.
Once that coveted state title journey ends, Libby will start thinking about his future plans that are still as of now, up in the air.
“I’m still not fully decided on what my plans are after graduation, but whatever it is, I want it to revolve around sports, because that’s something I obsess over,” Libby said.
“Whether it’s playing it or working around it, I would be totally fine with whatever the result is. I’ve definitely given sports marketing some consideration, but it’s a topic that I still need to look farther into,” he said.