Star guard’s leadership has Piper basketball primed for another state run

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Piper boy’s basketball team is full of ballers. Still — junior guard Tamar Bates stands out.

“I’ve been playing my whole life. I never come into a game expecting to under perform,” Bates said.

Neither do coaches. In fact, the four-star recruit is attracting a lot of attention from college programs. He has offers from Kansas, K-State and Oklahoma State to name a few.

Piper head coach David Birch knows Bates can go toe-to-toe with the top players in the country. But it’s his leadership qualities that set him apart. 

“What separates him is his leadership and his work ethic. He’s as good a leader as I’ve seen on the high school level. He brings it everyday in practice. He brings it every day in every workout,” Birch said.

Bates make his teammates better, too. He was a key piece in the Pirates’ state title run a year ago and will be counted on again.

But as defending state champions, everyone is expecting more of themselves.

“Just wanting it more every game. Make the extra players, get all the 50/50 balls. Do all the dirty work and do all the things not everybody wants to do,” Bates said.

The Piper boys are state bound again. For their efforts, they earn this week’s Hy-Vee and FOX4 Team of the Week.

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