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For the past two decades, basketball purists have lamented about the dearth of elite NYC Point GOD’s and the increasing lack of respect for Big Apple hoopers.
Something special was cooking in the schoolyards and AAU tourneys during those Dark Ages and his name is Cole Anthony; straight from Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
The 19-year-old blue-chip prospect is the latest and truest city product to be crowned “The Chosen One.”
Anthony set the school record for scoring by a freshman in his debut, finishing with 34 points, 11 rebounds and some timely dimes, while leading the No. 11 Tar Heels past Notre Dame 76-65 in their opener Wednesday night.
With his father – former UNLV and NBA guard Greg Anthony – in the stands, the Atlantic Coast Conference preseason freshman of the year broke Rashad McCants’ 17-year-old scoring record by a freshman in his first game and finished 12 of 24 from the field with six 3-pointers.
He’s the real deal, so catch a glimpse of him dominate the college ranks now because he might be a one-and-done.
“It’s cool, I’m going to – not celebrate, but be happy about it a little bit tonight, give myself a little pat on the back,” an unfazed Anthony told reporters after the game. “But we’ve got practice tomorrow. We’ve got to lock back in. We’ve got a game on Friday.”
Anthony, a consensus top-three prospect, picked the UNC Tar Heels over Notre Dame, Georgetown and Oregon. He announced his one-and-done commitment to UNC, flanked by his parents on ESPN’s “Get Up Show” with Mike Greenberg.
He’s a perfect fit for the tradition of Tobacco Road, which has been a professional breeding ground for so many New York ballplayers over the years.
Cole could have gone to any school in the country. His skills were certified after his McDonald’s All-American Game MVP performance.
His mother, Crystal McCrary-McGuire, spoke about the lure of UNC‘s history and the iconic coaching staff with Roy Williams and Hubert Davis, and most importantly, the UNC fans.
Anthony arrived at UNC as one of the most decorated New York City point guards since Kemba Walker, but Walker didn’t carry the same clout into UConn. As a sophomore, he led Catholic school Archbishop Molloy (Kenny Anderson’s school) in Queens to its first title game appearance in 17 years. Cole moved on to national prep powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.). and dominated the Jordan Brand Classic and averaged a triple-double at
He won a gold medal with Team USA U18 team in the FIBA Americas, was part of the all-tournament team and was the regular-season MVP of the AAU Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.
I always wanted to play on the highest level,” the 6-foot-3 Anthony, told The Post. “They have a winning culture, and I want to be a part of it.”
Last night, he hit the ground running, immediately establishing his unprecedented greatness at a school dripping with tradition — just one game into his freshman season.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) November 7, 2019
We were first introduced to Cole’s basketball wizardry when he appeared on Little Ballers, a two-hour sports documentary exploring the journey of several 11-year-old basketball players and their quest to win an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) championship. The show aired during the weekly NickSports programming block on Nicktoons.
It documented the New Heights AAU program, coached by Billy Council.
Crystal was a team mom during the squad’s run to the Nationals. Her connections to the TV world allowed her an easy lane to create the idea, pitch it and direct the film. McCrary, 48, has an impressive resume as a lawyer and author, and in 2007 was chosen as one of Crain’s New York Business‘s 40 under 40. She even co-hosted The View.
The film was executive produced by NBA player Amare Stoudemire and rapper Lupe Fiasco.
Little Ballers was the first original documentary to join NickSports, a lineup of sports-themed content including series, specials, and documentaries from professional leagues and key athletes. It’s a story about how basketball can spark a kid’s competitive instinct and has value educationally and in developing life-long friendships and building character.
It also shows you how solid Cole’s foundation was and how his dreams were supported from the beginning.
As Cole Anthony adds his chapter to the rich book of basketball tradition at UNC, he will also be laying a new foundation and bracing the college basketball world for the rebirth of the NYC Point God.