By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Stan and his son Tae’lyr have made the Brighton Gymnasium their second home since 2014. The hours of hard work, drills, coaching and parenting led to the milestone on National Signing Day 2017.
Tae’lyr arrived to the Brighton Gymnasium to join his mother Demeka, other family members, friends, teammates, coaches and Brighton High School faculty to sign his national letter of intent to The University of Denver.
The younger Gatlin will join the Pioneer program of Head Coach Rodney Billups, brother of NBA All-Star guard Chauncey. The elder Gatlin said the Denver mascot is appropriate for what his son can offer any program in America.
“They’re getting a kid who is a program-changer,” Coach Gatlin said. “They’re getting a kid who has floated under the radar for whatever reason. He has the ability to be one of those once-in-a-lifetime type of players.”
Tae’lyr was a pioneer at Brighton becoming the first Division I basketball signee since Herley Maclin in 1999.
Tae’lyr has been a part of trailblazing Cardinal teams the past three years including the 2016-17 group that reached the school’s first Sub-State game.
The 2017 District 13-3A MVP had 21 points in that Sectional game against the East Mustangs.
Despite several awards, team success and experience on Team Penny, Gatlin was flying under the radar in recruiting. After interest from Tennessee Tech and a few other local schools, it was a play-date and his standout out performance as a freshman that sparked interest in the Rocky Mountains.
“Four weeks ago Coach Ricardo Patton came in and saw me play in open gym one day,” Tae’lyr recalled. “He saw how I played. He critiqued my game as well as praising me on how I played. I really appreciated that.
“I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me as a player because I feel like it will help me improve my game,” he concluded.
The Denver Pioneers play in the Summit League.