Greatest of All Time Tourney: Kent State

Yeah Antonio, we see you there - doing big things somewhere other than the NBA. Traitor.

Sorry for the long delay folks. While I am indeed a contributor here at HB, I am also finishing up the second year of my doctoral degree, and studying for final exams and writing feature bits like this don't always go together. They will be more regular now that I have less class and mostly just exams, for those of you wanting to know.

On to the next block, a man who only played part of his time at Kent, and didn't even go on to the NBA, but was pretty spiffy during the time he was with the Flashes.

For the previous installments, just give that headline a search or go to the MACsketball section in the left sidebar of the homepage.

Technically speaking, Antonio Gates played for multiple teams within the MAC - perhaps that counts for something to our voters out there. Gates was runner-up for the Mr. Basketball of Michigan and had originally enrolled at Michigan State to play football (for Nick Saban) and basketball (for Tom Izzo) but Saban wanted him to himself, so Antonio chose to transfer to Eastern Michigan University to play basketball. He played there part of one season, moved on to two different junior colleges, and then eventually played two seasons at Kent State

Antonio Gates - (2000-02) Gates played two seasons as a power forward, averaging 18 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists per game in that time. His time there was probably most notable for a senior squad that won the MAC Championship, then went on to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament with victories over No. 7 Oklahoma State, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Pittsburgh before finally bowing to Indiana. Gates led the Flashes' charge by averaging 18.9 points and 7.0 rebounds in those four games.

As we all know, everybody told him he was too much of a "tweener" to succeed in the NBA (maybe that's fair - he had shooting guard height and power forward weight, though perhaps a slimmer Gates succeeds). So he went on to become an All-Pro tight end in the NFL, and the rest is essentially history.

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