NYC “Chosen One” Cole Anthony Commits to UNC

The son of former Knicks floor general Greg Anthony will bring prestige and props back to the NYC point guard position.

Something special was cooking in New York City hoops over the last two decades and his name is Cole Anthony, straight from Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The 18-year-old blue chip prospect is the latest and truest city product to be crowned “The Chosen One.”

For the past 15 years, basketball purists have lamented about the dearth of elite NYC Point God’s and the increasing lack of respect for New York city hoopers. But little did they know that former Knicks point guard Greg Anthony, had already planted a seed that would eventualy save the city and put some spek’ on the name of NYC hoops. 

Cole could have gone to any school in the country. His skills were certified after his McDonald’s All-American Game MVP performance.

On Tuesday, 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.  

“They say it takes a village. His mom and I were both very involved (in his development),” said Greg Anthony, who was a member of the Young Republicans Club while at UNLV and is now an NBA broadcaster.” I think to (Cole’s) credit, he was very willing to listen to the advice that we offered. From a basketball standpoint… I always felt like his game would take care of itself because he had tremendous work ethic. But we wanted to make sure he was part of a situation that he would ultimately benefit from being a part of and that’s kind  of how we approached it “

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 hits Tobacco Road as one of the most decorated New York City point guards since Kemba Walker, but Walker didn’t carry the same clout into UConn. Cole dominated the Jordan Brand Classic and averaged a triple-double at national prep powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.).

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. As a sophomore, he led Catholic school Archbishop Molloy in Queens to its first title game appearance in 17 years. 

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.”

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 howbasketball can spark a kids 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.

Now Anthony can add to the rich basketball tradition at UNC, while laying a new foundation and bracing the college basketball world for the rebirth of the NYC Point God. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.