Okeene’s Jess Gambill – Basketball Spotlight Presented by Pioneer

By Derrick Smith

There are a lot of things that go into an athlete and a team being successful. There are two different parts of practice, knowledge and work. You have to know what the game plan is in order to be your best. Also, you have to put in the work to get yourself physically ready. 

Jess Gambill says that the work is a really important part of being prepared. “Without hard work, none of my or my teams success would have happened. Without hard work in practice we would have never have been able to progress as a team and have success in games.”

A senior at Okeene High School, Gambill is a member of the Whippet’s basketball, football, and track teams. He plays power forward on the basketball court, and on the gridiron he plays wide receiver and defensive back. For the track team, he runs the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, and the pole vault. He has played all three sports since the fifth grade.

There have been people in Jess’ life that he has looked up to, but the main role models for him have been the players that have played before him. “I have watched them play and succeed,” he said. “I just want to be able to leave the same legacy they have for the next generation of athletes at my school.”

In the classroom, Okeene Home Economics teacher has made the biggest impact on Gambill’s life. “Mrs. Nusz has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and do different things not just in class, but also in life.”

Outside of athletics, Jess is also the President of the Okeene Chapter of the Future Farmers of America and is a member of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America program. He also volunteers as a teacher at his church every Wednesday, teaching the Pre-k through second grade class.