Love for the Game Keeps His Fire Burning

Playing professional basketball has always been a dream for Marqus Gilson.

The 2022 CWU graduate and former Wildcat standout can trace his passion for the sport back to his childhood in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area.

“There are stories of me in the baby carriage holding a basketball, so no one in my family is surprised that this is what I ended up doing,” said Gilson, who recently completed his second season with Kutaisi of the Georgia Superleague. “I just love it.”

Gilson 1

The 6-foot-7 forward/center has enjoyed immediate success in the Superleague, earning starting minutes and becoming a consistent contributor. He remains hopeful that he can take his career to the next level, but no matter what happens, he’s just grateful for the opportunity to keep playing after college.

“Everyone says your first contract is the hardest to get,” Gilson said, adding that his coaches at Central connected him with an agent overseas. “But if you can get your foot in the door and play well, you can keep going.”

Gilson averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds during his 2022-23 rookie season, and he was able to maintain that production during the 2023-24 campaign, averaging 13 points and six rebounds.

He attributes his initial success as a pro to what he learned during his three seasons playing for Central.

“My fifth year of college ball really helped me get better,” said Gilson, who transferred to CWU in 2019 after playing two years at Centralia Community College. “Once I started playing in Europe, I was able to bring a sense of education to the game that I hadn’t developed before my senior season—things like where you should be on defense or what to do in certain offensive situations.”

Gilson 2

Gilson said the transition from college basketball to the Superleague has been relatively seamless—likely because he has more court experience than the younger guys around the league.

“Playing college basketball helped me develop a mental fortitude in games that non-college players don’t have yet,” he said. “I feel like I have a different level of basketball IQ now, which has helped me be successful.”

After two solid seasons in the Superleague, Gilson believes he’s ready to move up to a higher-profile league on the European circuit. His goal is to keep playing for a few more years before settling into a career in pharmacy or information technology back in the States.

“I’m always thinking about the next step,” said Gilson, who earned CWU degrees in biology and information technology and administrative management (ITAM). “I already have my pharmacy tech license, and I may even try to pursue another degree. But, for now, I’m just going to keep doing what I love for as long as I can.”

comments powered by Disqus