Oak Hill Academy senior Cole Anthony knows all about the glory days in Las Vegas. About UNLV’s 1990 national championship basketball team.
About a certain point guard who starred in these parts.
“I heard (the Rebels) were all right,” Anthony said with a smile. “The homie, Greg, was cool. He was all right. Played a little defense.”
Anthony, the nation’s top point guard prospect and son of former UNLV star Greg Anthony, played his penultimate high school game Saturday at T-Mobile Arena, logging 25 points, six assists and six rebounds for the Away Team in a 132-125 loss to the Home Team in the Jordan Brand Classic.
The 6-foot-3-inch Anthony has one final all-star game — the Iverson Roundball Classic — this week in Soudertown, Pennsylvania. But Pennsylvania isn’t exactly Las Vegas, where his father starred at Rancho High and then for the Rebels from 1988 to 1991 before playing 12 years in the NBA.
The elder Anthony wasn’t at Saturday’s game and was unavailable for comment, but his son had plenty to say about playing again in his dad’s hometown.
“It’s awesome to be back. It’s a shame he couldn’t come out to support me. He left me here for dead by myself,” a grinning Anthony said after earning the Away Team’s MVP honors. “I come back out here a lot, and I enjoy it out here. It’s hot, too. I like that.”
Like most high profile youth basketball players, Anthony used to travel at the end of every summer to Las Vegas for tournaments with his club basketball teams. He played his first three years of high school basketball at Archbishop Molloy in Queens, New York, where he blossomed into a crafty, explosive scorer with playmaking ability.
And one of the top two prospects in the senior class.
“As athletic as he is, one of his strengths is that he doesn’t just use his athleticism. He plays slow sometimes,” said Bishop Gorman and Home Team coach Grant Rice. “That’s a special (player). A lot of guys have to go fast or slow, but he can do both.”
All the traditional college powerhouses offered scholarships to Anthony, who transferred to Oak Hill in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, for his senior season. He’s deciding among Notre Dame, Georgetown, Oregon and North Carolina, and plans to announce his decision Tuesday on ESPN.
“I’m going to bring my level of intensity. I’m going to come in and work my (tail) off,” Anthony said. “I’m going to push others to work their (tails) off as well and just try to make everyone better.”
But he’s still in high school. And on Saturday, that meant he was back in Las Vegas for one final curtain call.
“One of my last high school games, it’s awesome,” Anthony said. “This is the last time this select group of guys will ever be together all in one place. I’m just grateful that we can all be here at once.”