All-Metro basketball Player of the Year Marcus Hatten of Mervo, a high-scoring combination guard, signed yesterday to attend Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College.
A two-time All-Baltimore City/County and All-Metro pick, Hatten had attracted such programs as American, Stanford, Xavier, Tennessee State, Richmond, Temple and Virginia Commonwealth.
"Those schools wanted me to come and sit out a year [due to Proposition 16 academic standards], but I felt I wanted to get my grades straight," said Hatten, 6 feet 2, who averaged 25.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 12.5 assists over 23 games last winter. "This will allow me to gain a year or two of maturity and get a clearer picture of what it's like to play at the next level. I need to gain some strength, physically, and I basically think I need to work on everything, so I'm planning to stay the whole two years."
Hatten, whose 2.5 grade-point average and SAT score do not satisfy the NCAA's freshman eligibility requirements, said he visited community colleges at Allegany (in Cumberland); Daytona Beach, Fla.; and Hutchinson, Kan., before arriving at his decision.
Hatten said he was also influenced by what the Tallahassee program did for former Dunbar star Marvis "Bootsy" Thornton, now at St. John's.
"I liked Tallahassee's coach, Mike Gillespie. He's like another Bucky Lee," said Hatten, referring to Mervo's assistant coach. "He stays on you to do well and to play harder, which is what I'm used to, so it won't be hard to play for him."
"Marcus is a tremendous scorer," said Gillespie. "He can score around the basket and from the perimeter. It makes no difference with him."
Hatten scored 30 points seven times last season, earning consensus All-State honors and leading the 12th-ranked Mustangs to a 17-6 record.
Pub Date: 5/27/99