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Former Coppin State, UMES basketball coach John Bates, 'a legend in the MEAC and beyond,' mourned

Former Coppin State, UMES basketball coach John Bates, 'a legend in the MEAC and beyond,' mourned

When John Bates Jr. played basketball and football at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, his mother, Althea, was in the stands for every game, but his father's attendance was more sporadic. At the time, his father was the head men's basketball coach at Coppin State.

It wasn't until the younger Bates went to South Carolina State to play for the football team there that he understood why his father was frequently absent.

"When I was young, I didn't understand until I went away to college and I realized that coaches are the parents of the kids they have," he said Friday afternoon. "You make a promise to the parents you're going to take care of their kids....

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