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Washington’s Gaskins to play college basketball at Bridgewater

Washington’s senior transfer Reese Gaskins decided his collegiate basketball future Wednesday evening, committing to Bridgewater College in West Virginia.

Gaskins transferred to Washington after being relocated when Ocracoke was devastated by Hurricane Dorian last year, according to Pam Pack head coach David Allewalt.

For the Dolphins, Gaskins averaged 14.4 points per game his junior season.

Gaskins said he thoroughly enjoyed his time playing for the Pam Pack this school year, helping the team to its first playoff appearance since 2008 and its first playoff win in a couple of decades.

“Coming into Washington, I knew that the competition would be a lot better. I also knew that I would have to work a lot harder every day in practice to keep my position,” Gaskins said. “I can say that my time as a member of the Pam Pack will never be forgotten, and the people there are awesome. Everyone I met and became close with was super-supportive and caring.”

Unfortunately for Gaskins, his Washington career was abbreviated due to a slight injury, but he came back late in the season to help with the Pam Pack’s playoff push. Against West Craven on Senior Night, Gaskins scored the game’s first seven points, rolling onto a 40-point victory.

“I’m excited for the move to somewhere different, meeting a lot more people, being a part of another team and family. But I think most of all I’m looking forward to adding more and more to my game. I want to keep improving and putting in more work for the game I’ve always loved,” Gaskins said. “My favorite memories were definitely in Kozuch’s weightlifting class with Mikey, Chop and Rashod. Almost every day, I’d take something of theirs and hide it in their bags and acted like it was one of them. Rashod and I had a lot of classes together, and we got really close. He was always there for me and made the move to Washington a lot more comfortable. When I get a car, I definitely owe him some rides.”

Allewalt is happy to see Gaskins get to play ball at the next level. He said he was tickled to receive a phone call from Bridegwater’s basketball coach Wednesday evening.

“Coach (Steven) Enright called me last night and said, ’I just wanted to give you a call and let you to know that I have one jersey left for next year’s roster, and I want Reese to have it,’” Allewalt said. “He talked to Reese through the whole process. He’s going to be getting a good player who’s going to work really hard. He’s so happy and so excited. He can’t wait to get back to work and help that college program be successful.”

Allewalt spoke about how long he’s known Gaskins, and what he’s been through this year.

“Reese came over just before the school year to attend Washington. He’s from Ocracoke, was displaced by the hurricane, and that was a tough situation in itself. … Reese really did a nice job fitting in, made a lot of friends early on, and I think that made it comfortable for him in that transition. He hurt his knee against North Lenoir, but tweaked his ankle before that. That put him out for three-fourths of the season. Everybody knows Reese is a good shooter, but he’s a gazelle on the floor. His conditioning is one of the most important aspects of his game. He doesn’t get tired, and that’s a strong point of his game,” Allewalt said. “All the players admire and respect him. His presence in the locker room was great.”

Allewalt added that his favorite memory of Gaskins was at Ocracoke. Gaskins was a sophomore when he made a music video of himself singing the song, “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire for a group project. Allewalt downloaded the video from the teacher he presented to, and made it the team’s run-out song for their game that evening.

“Reese had no idea we were doing that. Everybody in the stands was laughing. Reese was blushing at first, but he took it like a champ and had a great attitude about it,” Allewalt said. “It was a great moment. It just shows his true personality. We went on to win that game by 30 points. It was just a really good tribute on the kind of kid he is. It was awesome.”

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