Jalen Gabbidon, a Baltimore native and Yale senior guard, will soon be playing in the NCAA Tournament … and launching a fitness app.
On March 13, Gabbidon and the Yale basketball team defeated Princeton, 66-64, in the Ivy League Tournament Finals to send the Bulldogs to their sixth NCAA Tournament in program history. Yale have won one game, a huge upset against Baylor in 2016, in their previous five appearances.
Gabbidon, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound senior, was born in Baltimore but moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, when he was one and grew up there. He averaged 37 points per game during his junior year at Harrisburg Academy and scored 60 points in a game while battling the flu. He realized he needed a bigger challenge.
Gabbidon’s uncle lived in Laurel, Maryland, and his cousin attended Glenelg Country School, so he was familiar with the local basketball scene. Glenelg attends the MIAA A conference, so Gabbidon decided to move to Maryland, live with his uncle, and attend Glenelg as a senior during the 2016-17 school year.
“This year at Glenelg has changed a lot for me as far as basketball is concerned,” Gabbidon said on Glenn Clark Radio on March 17. “I had never really faced much of the same competition consistently. I had a great summer with them to help me prepare for my [final] AAU year, where a lot of the offers were like, “We like you,” or whatever. [Those] got a lot stronger because of how I developed over that summer, including Yale and they were happy to take me I think.
Gabbidon is averaging 11.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game for Yale this year while shooting 48.3 percent from the field. He will be looking to lead his team to surprise Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The No. 14 Bulldogs take on the No. 3 Boilermakers on Friday at 2 p.m. EST on TBS.
Gabbidon can’t wait for his team’s opportunity.
“Being able to represent everyone who has helped me along the way means so much to me,” Gabbidon said. “It’s every kid’s dream, every kid’s basketball dream to be in March Madness. …To really enjoy the time when we did something special, that’s something I will always come back to and I proud to have contributed to this team.
Gabbidon’s work won’t stop once the season is over. In about a month, he plans to launch an app called “Launchpad,” which will allow users to become better athletes without paying big bucks for a personal trainer. He is working with coach Doug Goldstein on the app.
“Launchpad is in the fitness app business,” Gabbidon said. “…If you were in high school, other than going to a trainer where you pay $60 an hour, there’s not much to fall back on [regarding] how to become a better athlete and that’s how the idea of Launchpad was born. We’re building this app that helps train athletes to be more explosive. We do it in different ways. »
Being a student at Yale sounds hard enough, let alone being a student-athlete at Yale while building and developing a fitness app. When he started at Yale, Gabbidon envisioned an NBA future for himself. But after a first year in which he didn’t play due to injury, he began to branch out more into IT.
“I decided to major in computer science, which piqued my interest,” Gabbidon said. “I actually did two internships at Google – my sophomore year and my freshman year – and that got me into the software world, but I never really had an entrepreneurial spirit. [drive] for that.”
Although he has no motivation for the software world, he has found time to develop his skills and make connections during COVID. Gabbidon decided to take a year off from school during the 2020-21 school year because the Ivy League does not allow graduate students to remain eligible for athletics.
Since the Ivy League canceled the basketball season last year, Gabbidon didn’t want to lose a year of eligibility. This allowed the creation of the app to actually happen. Gabbidon connected with Goldstein through Yale head coach James Jones and former Bulldogs hoops player Jason Abromatis.
“We were connected through that,” Gabbidon said. “The next thing I knew, I met him in July  and I moved into his basement [in Denver] with his wife and children at the end of August and was there for a full year in his basement working with him.
For more on Gabbidon, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Yale Athletics