Gents Basketball welcomes Dustyn Ates
Monday, December 15, 2014

If you’ve been to a Centenary men’s basketball game recently you have noticed a new member of the Gents Squad that would be Dustyn Ates, who is battling cancer. Dustyn was paired with the Centenary men’s basketball team through Team Impact, a national organization that matches children with life-threatening or chronic diseases with college athletic teams.

Forward DJ Hicks says Dustyn has been attending games and practices and gives the team a different perspective on the game. “He’s a tough kid,” Hicks said. “We look forward when comes around the team. It’s fun to have him around in the locker room, at practice and at games. We love talking sports with him. He’s a really funny guy and loves to crack jokes. We are blessed to have him part of the team.”

Team IMPACT has paired 500-plus kids with nearly 300 schools that cover 42 states. Team IMPACT children are diagnosed with a wide variety of life-threatening and chronic illnesses, yet a common denominator is the impact their diagnosis has had on their quality of life.

“It’s fun to be around the guys. They are nice. It’s a lot of being around family,” said Dustyn. “It’s fun to come and watch basketball.”

Dustyn’s mom, Shannon Taylor, says, “It really boosts him. When he knows he’s coming up here, it really perks him to be around the guys and the family.”

For information about Team IMPACT, please visit,