The Drovers have a historic offseason, as they have picked up 4 Divsion 1 transfers. The Drovers picked up Manny Gatkek from the Sam Houston State Bearkats. During the 2017 season Gatkek was red-shirted by the Bearkats. Gatkek is a 6’8, 160 lbs shooting guard, with a incredible 7’0 wingspan.
Gatkek is originally from Amarillo, Texas. Gatkek played high school basketball at Caprock high school, in Amarillo, Texas. During his Junior year at Caprock, he would average 11.8 points and would grab 6.9 rebounds per contest. Gatkek’s game would be on the next level during his Senior year, as he would average a double-double, average 14 points with 10.4 rebound and also average 6.5 blocks per game. After his Senior year, he earned a spot on the first-team all-district honors and he was placed on the Amarillo Golden Spread Team. Gatkek would lead the Caprock Longhorns to a school-record 23 win season and a birth into the 5A state playoffs which was the first time since 2009.
Head Coach Chris Francis said “we are really excited to get a high character player such as Manny. We believe Manny could have a chance at being one of the best players to play here at USAO, there’s been a lot of talent walk through those gym doors and Manny has the work ethic to be put in a category such as a Michael Williamson and Hayden Herrin just because he has four years to go along with his skill set and size. He practiced and worked out all last year with some high level athletes at Sam Houston State. He put on some muscle which is what he needed and we will continue to keep him in the weight room so he can get stronger and bigger. He’s 6’8’’ but has the skill set of a guard that can handle it and shoot from anywhere on the court. He’s very long with a wing span of 7’0” so defensively we expect him to be one of our better defenders on the ball and at the rim. He has a great family who raised him to be a high character student athlete. One of the reasons we did receive such a player was due to the fact that our University is one of the best in the State of Oklahoma and getting a degree from USAO shows your effort you put into your academics. To say were excited to have Manny on the team is an understatement, He’s going to be a fun and exciting player to watch for the next four years! Coach Lane and myself hit the recruiting trail hard this summer and I can confidently say this will be one of the most talented groups we’ve put together in my head coaching career. Manny rounds out our roster for the 2018-2019 season, looking forward to seeing my guys on campus soon!”