By Zach Gewelb
The future is bright for Cole Anthony.
The Archbishop Molloy sophomore standout — and son of former NBA player Greg Anthony — has excelled in his first two years with the Stanners and he believes the best has yet to come.
“I want to become a much better player and a better teammate – those are the things I’m really keying in on,” Anthony said. “If you’re a good teammate, it will attract other players to come play with you in the future.”
The Stanners’ point guard has thrived on the court this season, helping guide his team to a city finals appearance. It’s been a long road for Anthony to this point, one that began years ago.
“I can’t even give an exact age when I started playing,” he said. “But I fell in love with it at a really young age, maybe when I was 6.”
Since then Anthony’s love for the game — and talent level — has grown exponentially. He continued playing throughout his youth and when he reached sixth grade, he realized he may have a future in the sport.
“That’s when I thought I could be pretty good and I’ve just been moving forward since then,” Anthony said.
His journey led him to Archbishop Molloy, where he endured an up-and-down freshman campaign.
“Last year, we were a pretty good team even though we lost in the semi-finals,” Anthony said. “I thought we were capable of winning it all. I thought I had an alright year and started adjusting to the high school game.”
That first season served as a learning experience and a stepping stone for what has been a successful sophomore year, both for Anthony and the program.
The Stanners have played to a 15-6 record (9-2 in league play) this season and Anthony has led the way.
“I think overall, Cole has been a terrific player for us,” head coach Mike McCleary said. “He’s very, very talented and mature beyond his years as a basketball player. He kind of brought up the level of this team just by coming to the school.”
Anthony’s improved play has taken the Stanners to another level this season and McCleary said it has been a treat watching him take the reins as a team leader.
“He can score. He’s an explosive athlete and has the ball in his hands a lot as a point guard,” McCleary said. “Being able to lead a group of kids in tight, competitive games as a sophomore is very impressive.”
Anthony credits his improved play to making adjustments and learning how to play at the high school level.
“After a year of experience, I’ve just been able to progress rapidly,” the sophomore sensation said. “I think I’m a better all-around player, a better passer, rebounder and I try to affect every aspect of the game.”
Anthony’s strong work ethic has also helped. He has a routine that keeps him busy and puts him in a position to succeed. After school he goes to practice, followed by a strength training session and another workout on the court. He has a desire to improve and puts in the necessary work to do so. Anthony said that while he feels his work ethic is strong, he wouldn’t be where he is now without his family.
“My family has been behind me throughout my whole journey and they will continue to be behind me,” Anthony said.
With his sophomore year winding down, Anthony is starting to look toward the future. He has already received interest from college teams, but is trying not to let that affect him.
“I’m a fan of college basketball, but it’s all about high school basketball for me right now,” Anthony said.
But make no mistake, Anthony sometimes dreams about the future.
“I want to go play in college and then proceed to go to the NBA and be the best player,” he said. “I’m going to work as hard as I can to achieve that goal.”
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe