Thursday, June 15, 2017

Molloy's Anthony Focused On Winning and Winning Only

Cole Anthony motored up the court, levitated, and crunched home a highlight-reel worthy left-handed dunk before a sea of onlookers at the NBA Top 100 camp at the University of Virginia.
Anthony’s dunk was as loud as it was commanding, jolting spectators from their seats instantly.
It evoked astonished reactions from guys such legendary NBA coach John Lucas, one-time New Jersey Net Tamar Slay, former Knicks forward Lee Nailon, The Patrick School head coach Mike Rice, and a barrage of others.

In the last set of games at the annual “who’s who” of elite high school players, Anthony was easily the best player on the court. Anthony wound up with 19 points, nine assists, and six boards as the camp wrapped up its live action for the night.

The incoming junior guard, who averaged 20.7 points in helping propel Molloy to a berth in the CHSAA Class AA Intersectional Title game (ending a 29-year drought) utilized his entire toolbox.
 He whizzed crisp passes, found cutters in traffic, and tore into the driving lanes for crafty finishes. The unique blend of hang time and adeptness at getting to the bucket, above the rim-protecting frontline, had the gym buzzing.

In New York, pretty much everyone in any basketball circle has a valued opinion. There is constant chatter about who holds the key to the city.
There a steady flow of comparisons and heated debates and trash talk, from IS8 to Kingdome to The Rucker and beyond.

The conversations and the clash of opinions is inevitable—basketball is the city’s game. It is the sport the city carries a torch proudly for.  

 Stories stretching back to the days when Lamar Odom was at Christ The King and Felipe Lopez was effortlessly dunking over defenders at now-defunct Rice High School can erupt any minute.

For Anthony, the son of former 1990s Knicks guard Greg Anthony, none of it matters.

 The 6-foot-2, 170-pound guard is workmanlike, unassuming, and heavily devoted to getting better at his craft.

 Louisville, Kentucky, Seton Hall, Villanova, St. John’s and several others are high on Anthony, who already has eight offers on the table.

Blessed with prodigious and explosive vertical leaping ability, Anthony possesses a quiet swagger and a massive mute button for all would-be distractions.

An immeasurable intangible of his game is his ability to stay laser-focused on the task at hand and turn a deaf ear to the hype machine.

You won’t see him memorizing any Frank White lines from “King of New York” or developing an attitude of entitlement.

You will see him doing everything in his power to will his team to wins, sacrificing whatever it is he needs to get the win.


ZS: As a veteran and an incoming junior, how has your role suddenly changed at Molloy?

CA: My role is just a role of leadership. It’s on me to lead these guys. We’re pretty much going to have a bunch of new dudes on the team. I’ve just got to lead them to pretty much…I want to say an undefeated season. That’s what I want. I don’t want to lose a single game. That’s just my mentality.

ZS: How would you describe your father’s influence on your game and constant presence as you continue to develop?

CA: My Dad, he always gives me constructive criticism. He just tells me when he sees me doing something positive, but he’s also telling me when I’m doing something negative. I always just embrace that. That’s just something I’ve been working on with him guiding me. Look, if I’m playing soft—just tell me I’m playing soft. Every time I step on the floor I just try to embrace it.

ZS: Soft is a word never found on the same page, paragraph, or book as  Greg Anthony’s Knicks teams of the 1990s.

Those guys played hard-nosed, confrontational defense. They were known primarily for physical black-and-blue matchups, during a much more physical era of the game. Have you ever watched any of those games witnessed the rugged fashion in which those memorable Knicks teams played?  

CA: I really didn’t watch those dudes that much.

I mean, it’s something I definitely should look into. But yeah, I think one of the reasons my Dad hasn’t really shown me his videos is because he’s a little scared. I think he knows I’m a little better than him by now-- so I think he’s a little scared to show me.

ZS: Who has been most consistent with your recruitment and which high-major programs are you most impressed with?


CA: I honestly don’t even know.

That’s all going through my Dad right now.

He’s the one controlling all of that. So I’m not even worrying about it. I’m just worried about getting better and working on my game every day and every chance I can. I mean, I just want to win. I’ll do whatever it takes to win. That’s honestly all I want to do as a team and as we move forward. I could care less about my numbers, everyone else’s numbers, the opponents numbers. That doesn’t matter at all to me. It’s just not relevant to me. I just want to win.

ZS: It’s no secret, at least to anyone who has watched you play recently, you’ve got some bounce in you. How did you develop the above-the-rim game and when did it start?

CA: It was just natural for me. I think it all came natural because there was never any extra emphasis I put on being able to jump higher than dudes.

It just happened.

The first time I ever dunked in a game I think I was 14, it was just a one-handed dunk during a game and I think it was Hoop Group. I definitely remember it well.