Supercats announce trio signing

STAR guard DeMarcus Gatlin is set to become the longest-serving import in Luina Geelong Supercats history after signing a two-year contract extension.

The reigning NBL1 MVP, who has made 95 appearances in four seasons with the club, will surpass the five years Cal Bruton (1980-84) had in Geelong.

Arriving in 2016 from Sam Houston University, the Houston native has career averages of 18.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

Gatlin averaged 20.3ppg, 7.3rpg and 3.9apg as well as a league-high 2.3 steals per game in 2019.  

“I’m excited by the prospect of coaching a talent like DeMarcus,” recently appointed Supercats coach Justin Schueller said.

“Having coached against him during my time with Kilsyth, I’m well aware of DeMarcus’ ability at both ends of the floor.

“He is certainly a player we can build our roster around.”

As well as re-signing Gatlin, the Supercats have welcomed Dexter Kernich-Drew and Tohi Smith-Milner to the club on two-year contracts.

Both are currently on the roster of NBL team Melbourne United, where Schueller is an assistant coach.

Kernich-Drew, who attended Washington State University in the strong PAC-12 Conference and was a member of the Perth Wildcats NBL championship-winning roster in 2016-17, is an athletic 198cm guard.

The 27-year-old spent the inaugural NBL1 season with the Dandenong Rangers, averaging 17.ppg, 2.8rpg and 2.0apg.

Kernich-Drew also played NBL with the Cairns Taipans and Big V State Championship at Waverley and Melbourne Tigers and had a short stint in Brazil in 2015.

Smith-Milner, who was a member of New Zealand’s bronze medal-winning team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, will add some much-needed starch to the Supercats’ frontline.

The 205cm forward also helped the Tall Blacks to a fourth-place finish at the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.

Smith-Milner, who turned 24 on October 6, has spent three seasons with Melbourne United and was part of their inaugural championship in 2017-18.

He played under Schueller at Kilsyth in 2019 and averaged 15.5ppg and 8.4rpg.

Smith-Milner featured in United’s match-up with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers on October 13, where he scored eight points, grabbed three rebounds and dished two assists in the 118-100 loss.

“Dexter and Tohi are players that Supercats fans will enjoy watching over the next two years,” Schueller said.

“Both bring a wealth of higher-level experience to the roster that we hope can help us go a couple of steps further than this year.”