By Anthony Bosco
Anthony Glover had no business hitting the shot, and he knew it. The 6-foot-5 power forward out of the Bronx was trapped underneath the basket, but somehow he managed to toss up a prayer of a shot.
The ball sailed straight up above the top of the backboard before coming down and tickling nothing but twine. Glover, who had been fouled on the play to boot, simply walked to the free-throw line as a rabid Alumni Hall erupted.
The moment was the highlight of the St. John’s University men’s basketball teams’s 79-71 NIT quarterfinal win over the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the last game Glover will play at Alumni Hall as a member of the Red Storm.
Glover, a grad student in his fourth and final year with the team, has been a mainstay for the Red Storm during Mike Jarvis’ tenure. The head coach saluted his stalwart after the win.
“If there’s any guy that deserves to end his season at Madison Square Garden on national TV, it is Anthony Glover,” Jarvis said. “I think his commitment to St. John’s is incredible. Five years ago, he committed to St. John’s when St. John’s didn’t have a basketball coach. He didn’t care who the coach was. I was hoping that when I came he was going to tell me that ‘I decided to come to St. John’s because I heard you were coming,’ but he was coming anyhow. He didn’t care who the coach was; he was coming to St. John’s.”
Glover, who played out of position for most of his time at the school, made a living out of playing inside against much taller opposition, often starting at the No. 5 spot against players 6-foot-10 and above.
A product of Rice High School, Glover has averaged 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for his career. He has amassed 1,429 points, including the 16 he scored against UAB, moving him past Walter Berry for 13th on the Red Storm’s all-time list. His 740 rebounds has him just out of the school’s top 10, while he cracked the upper echelon in free throws and free-throw attempts — 375-585, respectively — this season.
Against UAB he was 7-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 from the line.
“I just fight my way to the ball,” Glover said. “I try to get the rebounds, get fouled and make the free throws.”
After the win, Glover and his teammates went over to the student section of the stands to thanks all their supporters.
“We just wanted to let the fans know that we thank them for their support,” he said. “We won our last couple of games at Alumni and most of the time athletes don’t get the chance to thank their fellow students like they should, and I think today we just wanted to show our respect and our love for the students.”
While seemingly always playing second fiddle to players such as Erick Barkley, Omar Cook and Marcus Hatten, Glover’s work ethic and consistency paid off, not just on the court, but in the classroom — facts that are not lost on his coach.
“Everyone said he wouldn’t graduate, and he graduated in four years,” Jarvis said. “And now he’s working on his master’s degree. If there’s one guy that I am probably more proud of than any other guy is Anthony Glover. It’s an honor tonight to be up here with him. And I’m really glad he chose St. John’s.”
Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.