What happens on the other side of a long and prosperous basketball career, spent overseas?
Well, you can go home again and reinvent yourself, it seems.
Last summer, Hatten announced his retirement from professional basketball. But he hasn’t been resting. He has returned home to a future, jumping off in Baltimore, Maryland, and is still very much involved in the game he loves.
The well-remembered Marcus Hatten was a star guard for St. John’s. A talented guard from Baltimore, he played two seasons in Queens after transferring from junior college. With the Johnnies, he averaged 21.2 points per game, bringing some of the best memories of the first decade of the 2000s (seasons that will live in Johnnies infamy).
He provided excitement and many memories for St. John’s fans. When asked about his favorite memories from his time with the team, Marcus said, “I have so many SJU moments, but I think the Duke game will go down as the fan favorite. I loved senior night against Rutgers because I got a chance to perform in front of my dad and played well. That was my fondest moment.”
After St. John’s, he had a storied career fifteen year career overseas. Not drafted by the NBA after that spectacular two-year career with St. John’s, Hatten went to a pair of NBA training camps before settling abroad in Israel, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Poland, Venezuela and Romania before retiring in 2018.
As far as a favorite, he enjoyed his time in Greece the most. “Greece is by far my favorite place in the world,” he reminisced. “I love the food, culture, people, the architecture, and I’m big on Greek mythology.” He also enjoyed his time in Israel, Germany, and Italy.
Now in retirement, Hatten has started the Become Legendary Mentor Program in Baltimore City.
He enjoys his new post-career venture which allows him to do fitness training and basketball clinics.
“It’s definitely a transition from what I’ve been accustomed to for so long,” Hatten said. “I actually enjoy getting to be with my kids on a regular basis. It’s amazing to be able to take them to school.” Not only is he enjoying spending time with his children as much as he can, he plans to take them on vacation this upcoming summer.
Marcus’ main focus since retirement, along with his family, has been giving back his community.
I asked him about how much Baltimore has changed since he was going up and he said, “Baltimore has grown and the gentrification has changed my whole neighborhood.”
According to Hatten, the culture is changing because people are being moved out of neighborhoods their parents grew up in to neighborhoods they have no history in. Recreation centers and schools are closing and violence and drugs are skyrocketing. He went on to mention that “teachers are being underpaid while our kids are not getting the proper education.”
In June, Hatten was named Director of Player Development for AAU program Team Thrill. Team Thrill is an elite basketball program designed to create opportunities for the youth.
When asked about his role mentoring kids with the team, Hatten replied, “Coaching with Team Thrill has been great. I’ve learned that in order to be successful you have to get ten different personalities on the same accord and that’s very challenging. We have a ton of talent like Justin Lewis, Carlos Jones, Mike Williams, and Omar Smith.”
We wanted to know how Team Thrill players impress him, compared to players he played with at their age, back in the late 90s.
Hatten said, “the players now have much more talent than when we grew up. The kids today can do it all naturally and we had to work on our skills to be good. The social media platform is a great tool for them to be able to get college offers and to also learn skill work from the best basketball players in the world without them actually being there.”
Retirement has treated Marcus well so far. He is enjoying his post career ventures and being close to his family, but to coach and develop players is something he has his mind set on when he is ready.
Marcus, who still stays in touch with his former teammates Andre Stanley, Anthony Glover, and Willie Shaw, has enrolled at St. John’s for the spring semester to get his degree. One day, he hopes to return to St. John’s in coaching capacity.