The Wolfpacker

May 2013 Wolfpacker

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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2013 basketball recruiting issue H By Jacey Zembal ampton (Va.) High point guard Anthony Barber broke records and conjured up comparisons to past legends in the tradition-rich Tidewater area. The 6-2, 165-pound Barber is a human blur with the ball in his hands, which helped him earn a ranking as the No. 5 point guard and No. 27 overall player in the class of 2013 by The NC State signee became the Wolfpack's 17th player to see action in the prestigious McDonald's All-American Game in Chicago. Barber had 11 points and four assists in 18 minutes for the East squad, which lost 110-99 April 3. college. That's my main goal, to get them into school." Hampton assistant coach Eric Brown played with and against some of the best players in the Tidewater area growing up, and he also has been on the bench coaching under Brower since the mid-1990s. "Coach Brower has been a calming influence on him [Barber], on and off the floor," Brown said. "He is keeping him humble. There is a lot coming at the kid. People down here [in Raleigh] are going to love him, but told him he needs to keep everything in perspective." Brower also coached against Rutland and Hampton Bethel superstar Allen Iverson. the bragging rights with an 80-72 overtime win for Team Takeover. Barber is looking forward to playing with the 6-9, 285-pound Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic standout. Barber and Anya were roommates and teammates in the U.S. vs. Florida All-Star Game in Orlando, Fla., in late March. "I love BeeJay," Barber said. "If he gets it in the post there's not much you can do. His wingspan is crazy. I've never seen a wingspan ike that. He's a good kid. I think we're going to have some fun next year." NC State assistant coach Rob Moxley landed Barber, Anya and New Mexico Junior College shooting guard Desmond Lee, who Mr. Excitement Speedy Point Guard Anthony Barber Has Explosive Scoring Ability "It's experiencing a whole bunch of good players from around the country — the top players," Barber said of the event. "It's just about having fun this whole week. The dunk contest, the three-point [contest], all that, it's just for us to have fun." Barber earned a reputation for being a winner, leading Hampton High to the 2012 AAA state title and a 49-12 record during that span. The Crabbers went 22-7 this season, but came up shy of repeating as state champions. Barber scored 26 points during a 67-60 loss to Chesapeake (Va.) Great Bridge High in his last prep game. Barber broke the Peninsula District scoring mark, which was held by former Hampton (Va.) Bethel High and Wake Forest guard Tony Rutland, who posted 1,975 points. Barber finished with 2,097 career points, and averaged 20.2 points per game his senior year. "Not too many people that came through did that, so that was a great run for me to accomplish and just move on with my career," Barber said of his scoring record. "I hope nobody else passes me, but if they do I'll congratulate them." Rutland is one of several standout players to come from the Tidewater area over the last several decades. Hampton High has produced a few of its own former star guards, including ex-UNC point guard/quarterback Ronald Curry, another McDonald's All-American, and former Alabama guard Damon Bacote. "Barber is one of the toughest competitors I've ever had," said legendary Hampton High coach Walter Brower, who just completed his 31st season with a reported 555 career victories. "He is probably the quickest I've ever had. I've had some good players over the years, and a lot of them have gone on to "He never really knew how good the guards were that came before him until we schooled him on them [his freshman year]," Brown said. "He's looked them up and actually has a relationship with some of them. He met Ronald and Iverson. The guys are always going to be compared to the next guy. He's just the one right now. It's a credit from our area." Brown remembers another former Hampton High guard, Art Jones, who played at NC State from 1978-81. Jones earned his NCSU degree last December. "I remember him being a high-profile player back then," Brown said. "The kids in our area, if you show them love, they'll leave the area. It's hard to come in here and get them, but you have to be aggressive. That is what [NC State head] coach [Mark] Gottfried and his staff were." Barber goes by the nickname "Cat" but not due to his off-the-charts speed and quickness or reflexes on defense. "When I was little I used to climb on a bunch of stuff," Barber said. "My sister just started calling me Cat because cats like to climb on a bunch of stuff. One time I went on the stove and burned my feet. My sister just said she'd start calling me Cat, and it became well known around the community." The nickname caught on when Barber exploded with the Boo Williams traveling team the summer going into his junior year. Ironically, one of the first opportunities to play on the big stage in front of the recruiting analysts was against fellow NC State signee BeeJay Anya and Team Takeover at the Nike EYBL No. 1 tournament in his hometown of Hampton. Barber scored 16 points and Anya had nine points and five rebounds, but Anya got hails from Norfolk, Va. Lee has known Barber for years. "I saw Barber when he was younger and coming up," Lee said. "He is real good, very explosive and quick. He is very good with the ball and can score in many ways. He does things on the floor that people don't usually see as a young guy. Cat is a special talent." NC State and Moxley started actively recruiting Barber not long after that Nike EYBL No. 1 tournament. Barber seriously started to consider attending NC State nearly 14 months later, with Gottfried watching him throughout the 2012 July evaluation period. He eventually narrowed his list to NC State, Kansas, Louisville and Alabama, and picked the Wolfpack following his official visit Sept. 15, 2012. "A whole lot of people were trying to tell me NC State wasn't where I wanted to be," Barber said. "I just wanted to see for myself. … It was unbelievable to me and I just felt more comfortable than when I went to the other schools. "I thought about it overnight in my hotel and decided then, this the place I want to be. I committed on the spot." Barber was able to give NC State a threegame showcase in the area at the HighSchool. com Holiday Invitational Dec. 27-29. "The fans are great and I saw the little kids," Barber said. "I just want to come in and do what I have do to help the school win. I just want to have a great time while I'm in college." ■ Barber averaged 20.2 points per game his senior year at Hampton (Va.) High and broke the Peninsula District scoring mark, finishing with 2,097 career points. photo courtesy virginia preps 20  ■  the wolfpacker 20-21.Anthony Barber.indd 20 4/30/13 2:10 PM

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