Gilbert Cruz


Basketball
J.W. Nixon High School
Texas 5-A All-State 3rd Team
Laredo 1982
Concordia Lutheran College
Conference Champions
Austin, Texas
1980's

What are the requirements to have your team's jersey number retired? We used to think
that an athlete who had his jersey number retired must have been able to jump out of a building
or have his jumpers come raining down from the sky hitting nothing but net.
We now understand that the requirements to have your number retired comes down to one
thing - Respect.
Gilbert Cruz earned his respect through his Lmselfish play, hard work on and off the court and his ability to make those around him
better.
Even though Gilbert played many sports, his love for basketball was evident from the beginning. He was always ahead of other kids his
age and competed in leagues designed for older participants.
He played for the Mustangs from 1980-82, earning All-District honors in two seasons and was the District's Most Valuable Player as a
senior. He captured the imagination of Laredo and South Texas cage fans with his leadership and scoring ability.
Cruz, who started playing organized ball in the Boys and Girls Club Leagues, averaged 23 points per game for the Mustangs and was
selected to the Texas Class 5-AAAAA Texas Sportswriters Association All-State Third Team.
From High School, Cruz went on and starred at Concordia Lutheran College in Austin, where he helped his team win the Conference
Championship.
His J.W. Nixon High School basketball jersey No. 23 was retired recently and proudly hangs in the school's gym.
Cruz is now a senior vice president for International Bank of Commerce in San Antonio.