“Basketball was something that molded me and created the person I was. That’s how I became Antonio Gates.”
In high school, he walked the right path with hardly a misstep. The recruiting path, however, was not so straight and narrow. It was a maze.
That’s because Gates, a two-sport star at Central High School in Detroit, “had this tunnel vision of being a basketball player” at the next level. Basketball was his one true love, the sport he poured his heart and soul into. Football came natural too, but Gates played it simply for fun.
His goal of earning a scholarship at a big-time program in one of the elite conferences was so close, yet so far away. Ohio State and Michigan were heavily pursuing him—but for football, his second sport. The All-State hoopster was receiving interest from basketball programs as well. But, he says, “it wasn’t the Duke’s, it wasn’t the North Carolina’s.”
Suddenly, he was faced with a predicament that scores of student-athletes could only dream of: accept a basketball scholarship at a mid-major program, or sign to play football for one of the most elite and storied programs in the nation. Watch the video above to hear Gates discuss his decision.
View last week’s installment here, and be sure to check back each week for the latest installment. Next week, Gates encounters the harsh realities of life as a Division I student–athlete.
Photo: German Alegria