Basketball beauty puts wraps on SA career

Published 8:41 am Friday, June 4, 2010

COURTLAND—Anyone who believes that pretty girls don’t do sports has not met 18-year-old Gabby Gatten.

Gatten is not only attractive, but she has excelled in academics and was a phenomenal basketball player for Southampton Academy.

Starting at age 8, she developed her love for basketball.

This love was encouraged by her father, Franklin optometrist Dr. Burdette Gatten. He has run a successful business for more than two decades while devoting time to nurturing his daughter’s athletic talents.

“We practiced every day and exercised every night,” Gabby Gatten said. “He motivates me to practice even when I don’t want to.”

“Gabby has grown so much since basketball became a focus in her life,” added Burdette Gatten. “She has made friends across the country, and it has helped her realize that in order to achieve anything, you must work for it. She can beat the player that is 4 inches taller than her because she works that much harder during the game.”

In January 2009, Gabby Gatten became the first girl to score 1,000 career points at Southampton Academy.

Gatten, who graduated on Saturday, hit the jumper in the first quarter, the first points of the game scored by Southampton Academy in a 45-30 win over Blessed Sacrament Huguenot.

Gatten reached her 1,000th point in a little over 2½ seasons. She averaged about 20 points per game that year.

Gatten’s accomplishments include Southampton Academy’s top varsity scorer, an all-Virginia Commonwealth Conference team member, VCC’s most valuable player for two consecutive years, an All-State basketball honoree and captain of the varsity team.

Gatten’s hard work has merited several scholarship opportunities.

“If you want to do something, just be confident and try it,” she likes to tell younger players. “You never know what you can do until you go for it.”

Burdette Gatten’s advice to parents who may notice an exceptional ability in their child is, “You need to sacrifice your time to make it happen. Try to encourage them even if you are not good at it. Educate yourself or put them in touch with people who can help. Just make the effort.”