Earlier this week I got a chance to speak with Rider University commit, Nic Anthony from Brantford, ON currently playing at Raleigh Christian in North Carolina. Nic is the epitome of a playmaker, he has incredible court vision to go along with elite ball handling & shot making abilities. In this interview we speak about his time playing South of the border, when he fell in love with the game & some advice for fellow Canadian hoopers out there. Let’s get into it.
Josh Millican: Okay so, we’ll get right into it. I won’t take up too much of your time. I really appreciate you taking the time and congratulations on the commitment to Rider, that’s a crazy big deal man!
JM: I want to ask you, when did you realize that this dream of being a NCAA Division I athlete could be a reality for yourself — a kid from Brantford, Ontario. It seems like a far stretch for it to happen, but you made it happen, can you speak on that?
Nic Anthony: Yeah so, it’s probably been my dream since I was like in sixth or seventh grade, but when I first started to realize that it could be a reality for me it was probably around my sophomore year. So I’d be in the gym, this was after the second time I transferred in the US, being in the gym with like a 3 or 4 star guy just working out…
NA: And I thought to myself, ‘like there’s really not much of a difference; there’s no difference between me and them.’ It was just my level of exposure till then, so I’d probably say my sophomore year.
JM: And you said you transferred a couple times in the States. When did you first go down to North Carolina? Did you go to North Carolina first or did you go somewhere else?
NA: Yeah I was in Mississippi for a year and then North Carolina after that.
JM: How did you get picked up by those schools? How do they find you in Brantford, ON?
NA: I was actually on a team in Brampton called Peel Elite For one summer. We played in a tournament in Kentucky and basically the head coach of the team (Peel Elite) knew the head coach of the team we played in the tournament in Kentucky.
NA: So from there they kinda wanted me, it was called Grace Baptist in Mississippi. So I went down there for a year & I didn’t think it was the best place for me or for my career to develop.
NA: And then I came up on another opportunity at Raleigh Christian in North Carolina after that.
JM: And how do you like Raleigh Christian?
NA: I’ve been liking it a lot really, I’ve been here, this is my third, just starting my third year here. I like the coaches & everything so it’s been a big part in getting to where I am today.
JM: That’s awesome! Next question I have for you is, what made you fall in love with the game? At what point in your childhood or young adulthood did you realize that this is what I want to do?
NA: Yeah, it was mostly my Dad, like he really loves basketball and he put a ball in my hands at a young age. But other than that, it would probably be like the culture around basketball. Like I loved watching basketball, I loved mixtapes, everything like that, so I just fell in love with the game as a whole.
JM: Next question I have for you, is what separates you from every other Canadian basketball player? What’s something that you can hang your hat on night in and night out that’s gonna separate you from every other Canadian?
NA: I’d just say my ability to make plays, like it doesn’t have to be for me, make plays for my teammates, I can score. Probably making plays, yeah.
JM: And then the last question I got for you here before we wrap it up is, what’s one piece of advice you give to a kid like yourself, as a grade nine player coming into high school that wants to follow in your footsteps and chase the Division I dream and make it a reality like you did. What kind of advice would you give to that kid?
NA: I’d say, don’t let other people put a limit on the successes you can achieve. Like I had a lot of people tell me when I was younger you can’t do this, you can’t make it there, but look if you don’t really listen to what people tell you & what [they say] you can or can’t achieve, you can really do anything you want if you work hard for it.
JM: That’s a great quote. We’ll just wrap it up here, Nic anything you want to add? Anything you want to say to anybody out there?
NA: I appreciate all the love from everyone in Canada, all the support on my commitment recently and I just like to say thank you basically.