Gat’s back!

Hoop City Geelong United captain DeMarcus Gatlin has declared “the job’s not finished” as he aims to lead the club to its first NBL1 championship in 2024.

The 2019 NBL1 South MVP is the first men’s re-signing made by the club ahead of next season, and he says missing the playoffs doesn’t sit comfortably with him.

“I definitely didn’t want to leave Geelong not reaching the playoffs,” Gatlin said.

“From a personal standpoint, I want to prove that I can return to playing at my 2019 level.”

Gatlin, who was named team MVP in 2023, is looking forward to a big pre-season heading into Grant Wallace’s second year in charge.

“We proved at times during the 2023 season that our best basketball was as good as anyone in the competition,” he said.

“However, we need to find consistency with our effort, both on and off the floor.”

Gatlin, who has played 137 games,56 is the first to admit he didn’t expect to be still wearing a Geelong singlet in 2024 when he arrived here in 2016.

“Being more and more involved in the community every day makes it hard to leave,” the Houston native said.

“Geelong has been really good to me, and I would like to pay them back with a championship.”

Gatlin averaged 16.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.9 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game in 2023 and was a finalist in the NBL1 South Defensive Player of the Year award.

“I think I speak for everyone at Geelong United when I say we are thrilled to have DeMarcus re-sign for the 2024 NBL1 Season,” General Manager Pathways Megan Moody said.

“He has been a key contributor to Geelong United’s success on and off the court for many seasons and will be an integral part of our program as we work towards a successful 2024 season.

“Not only will DeMarcus be leading our Geelong United NBL1 men, but he has also been appointed as the head coach of our under-12 Victorian Junior Basketball League boys first team, which is amazing for that generation to have an athlete of DeMarcus’s calibre teaching and leading them.”

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