Marcellus Garrick is ready for his next great adventure.
And the good news is he won’t have to go very far to get it underway.
On April 27, the Hancock College sophomore signed a national letter of intent to continue his education and basketball career just up the road at Cal Poly.
“There are no words to describe how I feel,” said Garrick, who grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. “Cal Poly has been my dream school ever since I moved to the Central Coast. The coaches there believe in me, and think I can be a great fit. It’s also an incredible school academically and will keep me close to Santa Maria, which has become my second home.”
The 6-foot-4 Garrick was a two-year starter for the Bulldogs, earning All-Western State Conference First Team honors after he led the Bulldogs in scoring at 15.9 points per game during the 2016-17 season.
He was even better in conference play, averaging more than 20 points a game which put him second in the WSC in scoring.
“I’m primarily a guard but I really played every position – one through four – at Hancock,” said Garrick. “I’m excited to join the (Cal Poly) team, thankful for the belief that they have in me.
“I’ll be competing for a starting position but I’m just going there to work hard and if it happens, it happens.”
Garrick is the first Hancock basketball player to sign with Poly since the Mustangs moved into the NCAA’s Division I in 1994. He also became the 15th Hancock men’s basketball player to sign with a four-year institution under coach Tyson Aye.
“Marcellus can play all perimeter positions and compete offensively and defensively,” Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero said about his newest recruit. “His positive attitude and toughness will be a great compliment to our team.”
A large crowd was on hand to support Garrick as he signed his letter of intent in the Joe White Memorial Gymnasium.
He was surrounded by teammates, classmates, coaches, teachers and college administrators.
“Marcellus’ story is a great one,” said Aye. “He had no full-scholarship offers out of high school and came to Hancock with a dream and a purpose. He fully believed in and trusted his coaches and did everything asked of him with an exemplary attitude and effort on the court, the weight room, and in the classroom. In doing so, he made the Dean’s List this past semester, and I’m proud to say he signed with his dream school.”
One person who couldn’t be there in person was Garrick’s mother, Army Master Sergeant Ficimalo Siaosi, who is currently stationed in Hawaii.
But she didn’t miss a second of her son’s signing, watching the entire ceremony live on Facetime.
“This is going to be her last year in the Army,” said Garrick, who also has two brothers and two sisters. “Some of them are back home in South Carolina, some are in Hawaii with mom.”
“We’re incredibly proud of Marcellus,” said Hancock Athletic Director Kim Ensing. “He is a really unique young man. He’s been great while he’s been here. It’s fun to win games, fun to win championships but that’s not the most meaningful thing we do. The most important thing we can do is help our student-athletes succeed.”
Garrick has succeeded on both the basketball court and in the classroom.
He will receive an associate degree in film and video production from Hancock next month. He plans to major in sports management at Cal Poly.
“This really just validates all the hard work he’s done over the last two years. Cellus has done everything we’ve asked. He’s been an excellent representative of our college and I’m sure he will do the same at Poly,” said Aye. “We don’t say ‘Start Here, Go Anywhere’ for nothing.”
“Thank every single one of you for coming today,” Garrick told the crowd. “I’m blessed, really grateful. I’m just excited about my future and Go Mustangs.”