Take a look at point guard Tony Tate’s final statistics from the 2004-2005 season: 15 points per game (second in the MEAC), 4.2 assists per game (first in the MEAC) and 2.3 steals per game. These lofty numbers would satisfy even the fiercest competitors. Add the Second Team All-MEAC honor presented to him at the end of his junior campaign and you have a season worthy of the record books.
But since his days playing AAU ball traveling along the East Coast, Tate has never been known as the average competitor.
“I live for this game,” Tate said. “When you talk about pressure and high intensity situations, that’s why I play ball.”
The statistics and awards that Tate posted during his junior season brought on added responsibility. But most of all, it brought more pressure. During the off-season, Tate became committed to topping his previous numbers.
“I would spend at least three hours a day in the gym. I definitely became a gym star this summer,” Tate said.
In true point guard fashion, Tate spent his summer days in the gym with the team in mind.
“I implemented these work habits in my daily routine in hopes that it would rub off on my teammates, and when it did, I knew that I could rely on everyone on our team,” Tate said.
The time spent in the gym paid off. After being named to the preseason All-MEAC team, Tate made the recognition legit. His 3-point percentage rose from 30 percent to 36 percent, and his free throw percentage increased to 86 percent. His seven games of 20 or more points landed him a MEAC player of the week honor in January.
The team travels to Baltimore to take on Morgan State (2-16, 2-6) on Saturday.
“I like to get my teammates involved early because it helps me relax,” Tate said. “But there comes a time in the game when I have to take over.”
Contact Kenneth Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org