Anthony started playing football at the age of 10 (Sharon even coached his first two seasons). Once he reached high school, he played on the Freshman, JV and Varsity teams for Mountain Pointe. Anthony had always wanted to play for Kansas State in college, and by the time he was ready to go, they were actually winning. He wasn’t considered for a KSU scholarship his first year out of high school, so he headed to Phoenix College to continue playing football.
Though Anthony was getting some attention from the coaching staff at Kansas State during his first season, it wasn’t until the second season that Defensive Line Coach Mo Latimore started making some calls. Coach Latimore called to talk to both Sharon and Anthony to get an idea of how he was doing as a student and if he was still passionate about playing. In the end, Coach Latimore still decided not to move forward with Anthony. By some twist of fate, Anthony’s name was left on a list for Coach Bill Snyder to call. Even though Anthony explained there had been some kind of mistake, Coach Snyder still took 30 minutes out of his day to get to know him a little better.
Right after Anthony and Coach Snyder had the chance to talk, assistant coaches Bobby and Mike Stoops were causing some serious drama over at Kansas State. Mike was offered a job at the University of Oklahoma and took half the recruits with him. Couple that with a hard loss at the 1999 bowl game and Anthony finally got his call. He was off to Kansas on January 2nd, 1999.
As a late recruit, Anthony did receive the usual wellness physical. But, back then, no heart check was included. Coincidentally, the next opportunity for a physical would have been the day after his truck accident and Sudden Cardiac Death. As ironic as that may seem, it wouldn’t have mattered. To our understanding, no NCAA Division I college athletic program was utilizing any sort of heart screening technology, and Anthony’s disease would not have been caught.
Kansas State University and Coach Snyder have been absolutely integral in the development of the Anthony Bates Foundation (ABF). They’ve continued to offer their support, host screenings, and collaborate with strategic partnerships throughout the years. Had Anthony gone to any other school, we know the support would not have been the same. Coach Snyder has always emphasized the importance of family, and he never hesitated to make us part of his. As Coach Snyder said, “there is no appropriate time for death,” but Anthony’s passing has not been in vain. With the support of Coach Snyder and Kansas State University, Kansas State Alumni Association, Kansas State Foundation, and the entire Manhattan, KS community we’ve screened over 14,200. Plus, ABF has trained over 75 organizations across the country & worldwide that have screened over 600,000 young hearts. Our efforts combined have saved THOUSANDS of families from the same loss, and we have no intention of stopping. We strive to do better each day!
Be part of Anthony's legacy, dig deep down in your HEART to donate now to allow us to screen more hearts & save more lives! Visit www.anthonybates.org/donations.html
"Screening young hearts and Saving young lives!"