Carlisle comes up short in quest to reunite all of Ames' NBA stars

Updated 3/2/2018 8:37 PM
  • Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle steps onto the court during overtime of the team's NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in Dallas.

    Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle steps onto the court during overtime of the team's NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in Dallas.

If Dick Gibbs reads this, please contact Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. He'd like to buy you a plane ticket.

Before Friday's game at the United Center, Carlisle talked about trying to reunite the four NBA players who graduated from Ames (Iowa) High School.

Three of the four are relatively modern era and were involved in Friday's contest -- Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg (Class of '91), along with Dallas teammates Harrison Barnes and Doug McDermott, who were part of the same graduating class in 2010. The fourth is Gibbs, now 69, who played in the NBA from 1971-76.

"I had an email address for him," Carlisle said. "I was going to try to set it up to get all four of those guys here. But I just couldn't find him unfortunately."

Carlisle attended Lisbon Central High School in upstate New York, but took an interest in Ames when the Mavericks acquired ex-Bull McDermott from the Knicks last month. Hoiberg was aware of the plan, to have all four Ames grads go out to dinner Thursday night in Chicago.

"Me and Harrison were in the training room and (Carlisle) brought it up," McDermott said. "I personally didn't know who Dick Gibbs was. I feel bad. He was a little before me. I don't think he could make it. But it's still cool, Fred, me and Harrison reunited."

Carlisle said he gained some familiarity with Ames while working at Barnes' summer camp.

"I've spent pretty significant time in Ames," Carlisle said. "It's a special place. I thought it would've been great to get those four guys together for kind of a reunion picture. It would've been really special. … There's always next year, as they say."

Gibbs is no slouch:

Dick Gibbs may be the lesser-known NBA player from Ames, Iowa, but he had a significant career. For starters, he played at UTEP with NBA legend Nate Archibald, for Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins.

Archibald talked about Gibbs for a 2015 El Paso Times story.

"He was a white guy from Iowa and I was a black guy from New York. Dick and I got along great," Archibald said. "In fact, we ended up being roommates later in the NBA."

Gibbs was a third-round draft pick of the Bulls in 1971, but never played for them. He saw action with Houston, Seattle, Kansas City-Omaha, Washington and Buffalo. The 6-5 forward averaged 10.8 points for the Sonics in 1973-74 and appeared in two NBA Finals games for the Bullets in 1975.

He struggled with addiction issues during and after his NBA career. In 2006, Des Moines television station KCCI reported that Gibbs was running a drug-treatment center in Newport Beach, Calif.

McDermott hopes he's home:

Doug McDermott has played for four teams in the past 13 months, moving from Chicago to Oklahoma City to New York and now Dallas. Friday was his eighth game for the Mavericks.

McDermott said it has been special reuniting with high school teammate Harrison Barnes.

"There's been a lot of flashbacks now that we're together," McDermott said. "I used to drive him to games all the time because he didn't have his license in high school. Then right when I got traded to Dallas, he was the first one to give me a ride. So it's kind of ironic how it all works out.

"Talking about the old days brings back good memories. We had a lot of fun out there together and we're hoping to do the same in Dallas."

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