Posted On: 06/7/18 5:00 AM
As a sophomore, 5’11”-6’0” point guard CJ Anthony (2020) averaged 20.2 points per game, made First Team All Ohio, and led Harvest Prep to the Division III final four. Anthony is now ready for a new challenge as an upperclassman, as Harvest Prep graduated four rotation players from last year’s Regional Championship team.
“[Expectations] are probably going to be raised a little bit more,” Anthony said. “We know how to get there from last year. Us coming this year, we know what we got to do. We got more older guys, more maturity.”
Harvest Prep entered the State Tournament 22-0 last season, the no. 1 team in the AP State Poll. Anthony referred to the squad as “hungry” right now, after the disappointing 54-52 loss to Africentric in the State Semifinal.
To get tuned up for next season, the Warriors are going to team camps/shootouts at Kent State, Toledo, West Virginia, Dayton, and maybe Michigan. And it was last June when Anthony’s recruitment springboarded.
“We went down to a team of [Wright State’s]. We had played Pick Central, Thurgood Marshall, Beechcroft, all them schools, and I played pretty good against them. Me going into being a sophomore last year, they were looking at that,” Anthony explained.
Since then, Wright State has maintained contact with Anthony. He went on an unofficial visit and his high school coach is looking to set up another coming up soon. Wright State’s head start on Anthony is important to him.
“Wright State, like I said, was the first team to ever look at me like that — just giving me a real college feel … I appreciate them for starting that whole thing out,” Anthony said.
But his college interest doesn’t end with the in-state Horizon League program. In fact, Air Force has also made a strong impression.
“Air Force has been really on it. So the attention they give me, I really like that a lot,” Anthony said.
When it comes to Anthony, Air Force’s basketball program is also working with a strong family connection that transcends sports.
“I think my grandma is the only one of seven kids that didn’t go to the Air Force, so I got ties up there. That’s definitely a good fit for me,” Anthony said.
He’s hoping to coordinate a visit to the military academy soon.
On top of those two early standouts, Anthony’s high school coaching staff has set up a visit to Ohio University. The staff has also fielded interest from Dayton, West Virginia, Kent State, Holy Cross, Tulane, Seton Hall, and Youngstown State. He went on an unofficial to Kent State during the high school season.
The efficient shot creator hopes to find a college team that needs his package of skills and a program that he builds strong relationships within. As far as his skillset, Anthony is as disciplined a player you’ll find in the 2020 class. He wastes little motion out on the floor, attacks the basket like a running back, shoots a high percentage from deep, and has a point guard presence. Anthony credits his father, who coaches him with the Ohio Bulldogs AAU team, for his on-court maturity.
“My dad is a coach, so we sit down and talk a lot about basketball. He shows me what he wants to happen or where he wants to go with stuff. … When we get to the court, I can tell teammates and let them know. And I already feel like I’ve been there.”
Anthony carries 3.4 GPA and will take his first stab at the ACT this month. Ball-handling and explosiveness at the rim are his primary areas of focus this summer.