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Gatlin ready to take flight with Cards

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Basketball Cardinals

A familiar face to the area makes his return to the Millington/South Tipton area this week. After years of leading the Millington Lady Trojans to championship success, Stan Gatlin takes his turn as the man in charge of Brighton Boys’ Basketball.
“I’m ready for the opportunity to improve these young men and develop them,” he said. “I’m ready to see their maturity and grow over the moments of this season.
“They’re very young,” Gatlin added. “We have 12 freshmen on the roster. We have nine sophomores and three seniors and six juniors.”
Seniors like Antonio Miller, Nathan Yoder, Terrellwayne White and Kolton Childress have helped Gatlin in the transition period at Brighton getting to know the school and his personnel.
That group will also be counted on to provide size in the interior with White, Yoder and Childress. Gatlin said his roster is loaded with combo small forward/shooting guards like Yoder. Miller is more of a shooting guard/point guard. He will work in the backcourt with underclassmen like returning guard Tramaine Cooper and newcomer Taelyr Gatlin.
“Tramaine Cooper is doing an excellent job of leading the guys,” Gatlin said. “All the guys including Antonio Miller are doing a great job of being the models of success for the team and Brighton High School.”
The coach’s son Taelyr was a standout at Munford Middle School last year earning a national rank in the Class of 2018.
“He’s done an excellent job,” Gatlin said of Taelyr’s transition to high school basketball. “He’s leading and the guys are rallying around him. He has a great skill set he brings to the table already. He’s very unselfish and the guys love that.
“He’s obviously a scorer but he loves to pass,” he continued. “That’s one of the things I wanted to instill in him as a little kid wanting to play basketball. I said, ‘In order for you play basketball and for your team to progress, your teammates have to want to play with you.’”
Gatlin has coached his son during the summer in AAU Basketball. Gatlin made a name for himself in girls’ basketball with a 2008 State runner up finish with Millington and guiding the Southwind Lady Jaguars to the most wins in a season in school history.
Gatlin said he’s not worried about the transition from the girls’ game to the boys’ game.
“I’ve been coaching boys in AAU for quite a number of years, since back in 2009,” he noted. “I won a State champion in 2010 coaching AAU boys. There is a difference. It’s actually tougher to coach girls instead of boys.
“With girls, most girls don’t play above the rim. So everything has to be just right,” he added. “Everything has to be just right. With boys, they’re more athletic and they’re going to play above the rim. They can compensate for some of those bad passes. I’ve not having any problems transitions from the girls’ to the boys’ game. Obviously, we play in a tough area. It’s going to be a fight every night until we get our skill set up to where we’re efficient in areas we’re working on. It’s going to be a fight.”
An 11-13 summer has given Gatlin optimism for the upcoming season. His players are adjusting to his style and expectations.
“It’s going to be a learning process,” he acknowledged. “We’re going to take some bumps and bruises. But hopefully they’ll start to show my personality by January. I would like to see it before then.
“But based on the timeframe and amount of games we play, it’s something they have to learn,” Gatlin concluded. “It helps out a lot when you have your son out there who has the personality. Hopefully that makes the process a little quicker.”

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