Anytime a kid moves or has to transfer during their high school days, it can be a tough transition. Now, add these variables: It's your senior year, you're one of the better known basketball prospects in the entire Chicago area and it's only two weeks before you start the first day of classes at your new school.
Not the smoothest of transitions.
That's what makes Gates start to the UIL basketball season even more impressive. The 6'2" 183lb combo guard, is averaging 23 points a contest and leading the Clemens Buffaloes to an overall 16-8 record, 2-2 in District 27-4A.
"We're playing well, we're gelling together really well after barely even knowing each other," said Gates.
His play on the court has led to programs and scouts getting a front seat at practice for a first hand look. Texas, Creighton, Texas A&M, Navy, Texas State and utsa have all stopped by this season. He also holds two offers, Loyola Chicago and Missouri State.
"I'd want to stay closer to my parents, I'm big on family," said Gates. "Truthfully, I'd like to go to a school where I can play right away and be the best fit for me. I like to play fast, up and down, Chicago style ball."
Gates currently plays in the role of a combo guard. When Head Coach Cliff Ellis wants him to get the ball and distribute, he can. He has good handles, quickness to slash and penetrate into the lane, and a good overall basketball IQ. If he needs points, Gates has no problem there either.
On Tuesday evening in a showdown against Alamo Heights, Gates ran an isolation play on the left wing as time was winding down in the 1st half. With a Heights defender draped on him, he elevated and sank the shot as the buzzer sounded. Cooold-blooded! As Gus Johnson would say.
He finished with 22 points, but the Buffaloes came up short, 55-40.
Being in the Midwest all of his young life, he didn't know much about UTSA before making the move to South Texas, but was surprised to see the size of the campus when recently passing by.
Gates will be looking for a program that offers his major, a likable coaching staff who believes in him and his ability to play. Finally, if it's a school that's closer to home, it helps."If an offer (UTSA) came forward, I would definitely consider it," said Gates.
Clemens Head Coach Cliff Ellis has coached some good ones. Andre Roberson, now starring at Colorado in the Pac 12 and Jordan Clarkson who is sitting out this year after transferring to Missouri. Ellis knows about special players who can take it to the next level.
"He's been able to blend in from almost day one and really help elevate the play of the rest of our senior class. I've been fortunate to coach some other great players. Not only are they good, but they make the guys around them better. That's what William does," said Ellis.