Girls Basketball: Gati bringing defense, leadership to Lady Hubs

Rising senior forward Afi Gati will be returning for her third varsity basketball season this coming winter. The two-time RTHS Defender of the Year has been working to expand her offensive abilities. (Photo by Marcy DeLille)

Rising senior forward working to improve on offense

If there are two skills the Rochelle Township High School basketball and volleyball teams know they’ll get from Afi Gati, they’re quality defense and leadership. As the rising senior prepares for her upcoming seasons, she’ll be aiming to become an impact player on offense as well.

A three-year varsity basketball player for the Lady Hubs, Gati has been a stable force at the forward position, earning the team’s Defender of the Year Award in each of the last two seasons. An Interstate 8 Academic All-Conference honoree this past year, Gati led the Lady Hubs with 4.7 rebounds per game, and as she prepares for her senior season, she said her goals are to increase her scoring output while continuing to rebound and play tough defense.

“I thought I did really well last season on defense and in rebounding,” Gati said. “I need to improve my shooting accuracy offensively and really attack the hoop. My goals for next season are to be more comfortable on offense. I have made some improvements recently, but there are still more things for me to work on. As a team, I want us to lean on each other and really play for one another. I want a winning season, but that will depend on our work this offseason.”

While she opened her junior season as a reserve on the varsity volleyball team, Gati stepped up at the middle blocker position after an injury to starter Allison Seebach. An Interstate 8 Academic All-Conference performer, Gati led all Lady Hub players with 30 blocks in 2019, and she’ll return for her second varsity season this fall ready to lead Rochelle’s front row.

“I thought I performed better last season than I did in past years,” Gati said. “With the help of my coaches and teammates, I was able to improve my blocking a lot. I need to improve on my spikes this year and I need to time my approaches better so I can put more force into my spikes. As a team, I want us to keep working hard to beat last year’s record.”

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