Gatkuoth plays significant role, helps South Sudan reach Elite 8

August 29, 2021

Mareng Gatkuoth

The South Sudan Basketball Federation is headed to the quarterfinals of the FIBA Africa Championships. And Anchorage’s Mareng Gatkuoth played a pivotal part in making that happen.

The 21-year-old guard logged key minutes down the stretch and delivered several big plays in the second half as the South Sudanese eked out an 88-86 win over Uganda in the final game of Group D.

South Sudan finished second in Group D and advanced to its first-ever elite eight appearance Tuesday against Kenya.

Gatkuoth, of Anchorage Christian High fame, came off the bench to log 18 minutes and produce five points, four steals, three rebounds and two assists.

He was right in the middle of the biggest basketball win for South Sudan, which gained its independence in 2010 and became FIBA certified in 2013.

This is the first time the country qualified for the Africa Championships.

Gatkuoth is making the most out of his opportunity. The Montana State University newcomer made several big plays in the game, including a 3-pointer late in the third quarter that tied the game at 53.

In the fourth quarter, he made two steals and at the 3:30 mark grabbed a defense rebound and had the assist that pulled South Sudan within 80-78.