The 6-foot-5 swingman verbally committed to play for the Lions during an official visit this weekend that included Columbia’s Ivy League clash with Princeton on Saturday.
“I already loved the coaching staff — they followed me around all summer, and they’ve just been really good to me,” Gilson said. “The only reason I didn’t commit earlier is because I hadn’t met the players yet. But I spent the weekend with me and they seem like a really good group of guys.”
Through 15 games, Gilson is averaging 30.7 points and 9.6 rebounds. On consecutive nights earlier this month he scored 43 and 54 points — the highest single-game total for an area player this season.
It was Gilson’s seemingly limitless range that caught the attention of colleges over the summer. He’s already made 47 three-pointers this season — including four in Friday’s key Dulles District victory at Briar Woods — and leads the area with 155 trips to the free throw line, where he shoots 87 percent.
While Columbia was the only school to formally offer a scholarship, several Patriot League schools, most notably Colgate, expressed recent interest in Gilson, and last week North Carolina State proposed a walk-on spot with the opportunity to earn a scholarship. But playing time was a consideration, and finding the right mix of academics and athletics was paramount for Gilson, who boasts a 4.06 GPA.
“A Columbia degree is a really rare opportunity” Gilson said. “And if I take advantage of my opportunities there, it should give me a lot of options after college.
“I just love everything about the school and it feels like a good fit.”
New York City life is also an intriguing prospect for the western Loudoun native.
“Everything is close together there, you can get to everything you need in about five minutes,” Gilson said. “It’s a lot different than living in Purcellville.”
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