Friday, 8th December 2023

Like father, like son, times three

Posted on 20. Jun, 2010 by in Iowa Basketball


By Brendan Stiles

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa — Matt Gatens, Devyn Marble, and Darius Stokes all spent this Father’s Day like the rest of their Hawkeye teammates, playing in the Prime Time League.

This trio also happens to be following in the footsteps of their fathers that once donned black and gold.

Mike Gatens (1974-76) maybe didn’t have the most prominent basketball career at Iowa, but that didn’t keep him from making the contributions he did under then-head coach Lute Olson.

Growing up in Iowa City, Matt Gatens’ love for the game of basketball began at a really young age thanks to his dad. He also credits his parents for raising him to become a Hawkeye.

“I remember going over to watch the rec league games he was playing in, and it was a lot of fun and I kind of got that interest,” the Iowa junior said. “When I was at home, he was usually watching basketball when it was on.

“I struck up that love for it as he did when he was growing up, and to take similar paths and go to the same school, it has been a lot of fun, having his support along the way as well.”

While Gatens is about to start his third year of adding to the Gatens legacy at Iowa, Marble and Stokes are coming into the program this year to build on both of their fathers’ iconic legacies.

When Roy Marble (1986-89) finished his Hawkeye career, he left Iowa as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,116 career points. To put this into perspective, the closest anyone has gotten to that record is Acie Earl, who came up 337 points shy of that mark.

After being recruited by former head coach Todd Lickliter and then again by current head coach Fran McCaffery, Devyn appreciates his father’s accomplishments at Iowa. While he made clear he isn’t focused on breaking his dad’s records, the Southfield, Mich., product did mention the role his father played in helping him become a better basketball player.

“He helped me to be more aggressive,” Devyn said. “Earlier in my youth, I used to pass a lot, even when my team needed me to be a scorer. He helped me with that aggressiveness and that killer instinct when I step on the court.”

Prior to Roy Marble becoming Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, the previous mark was set by Greg Stokes (1982-85), who finished with 1,768 points during his Hawkeye career. He also left Iowa as the school’s all-time blocks leader with 229 rejections, which has since been obliterated by the aforementioned Earl.

Now it’s his son Darius Stokes coming into the picture. After playing at Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Darius was offered a chance to walk-on at Iowa by McCaffery, which he didn’t hesitate accepting.

For the incoming freshman, it was a chance to be like his father.

“He’s probably one of the most important people in my life,” Darius said about his father. “I’ve just wanted to always follow in his footsteps.”

Matt Gatens, Devyn Marble, and Darius Stokes were all inspired by their fathers, maybe not by convincing them to play at Iowa, but by being role models in their lives and motivating them to become the best players they could be.

Their dads may have all played at separate times, but these three Hawkeye prodigies will have the opportunity to play together this upcoming season, and it’s something they have taken notice on.

“It’s pretty cool to carry on the family tradition and that Hawkeye tradition with former players,” Matt said. “You don’t really think about that, but it’s cool to see to carry on that love that they had for Iowa.”


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