Antonio Gates (born June 18, 1980) is an American football tight end for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003 after playing college basketball at Kent State University. He attended college at Kent State University his junior and senior years after brief stints at Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University. He starred at Central High School (Detroit, Michigan) playing both basketball and football.
After his senior season of high school basketball, Gates was named runner-up for the Mr. Basketball of Michigan award to Dane Fife. Originally, Gates enrolled at Michigan State University wanting play football under then-coach Nick Saban as well as basketball under coach Tom Izzo but upon enrolling Saban wanted him to play only football. Gates then chose to pursue playing basketball by transferring to Eastern Michigan University to play basketball. He played there part of a season, subsequently played at two junior colleges and eventually played two seasons at Kent State University in northeastern Ohio.
As a Golden Flash, Gates played two seasons as power forward. His junior season he averaged 16.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game His senior season he received Honorable Mention All-American Honors from the Associated Press after averaging 20.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. His senior season his team won its first regular season Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship in school history after finishing the regular season with a 24-5 overall record with a 17-1 record in the MAC. Gates helped the Golden Flashes win their second consecutive MAC tournament and earn its resulting birth in the 2002 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament In the NCAA tournament he gave crucial performances which helped Kent State reach the Elite Eight as a 10 seed by upsetting 7 seed Oklahoma State (69-61), 2 seed Alabama (71-58) and 3 seed Pittsburgh (78-73). He finished with a record of 54-16 in two years of playing. .