Honing Skills

Arkansas 2014 pledge Anton Beard (6-1, 180) has flourished in his new role as a point guard this spring and summer and now will get to go up against more of the nation's best beginning Monday at the Deron Williams and Kyrie Irving Nike Point Guard Skills Camp

Fresh off a sparkling performance at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Arkansas 2014 point guard pledge Anton Beard will now move on to his next challenge.

That would be the Deron Williams and Kyrie Irving Nike Point Guard Skills Academy, which will be held June 24-26 in Union, N.J.

"I'm really excited about getting there and going up against some great competition and learning from some of the top guys," Beard said. "I am just trying to get better every day."

The Nike Skills Point Camp features the nation's top 20 high school guards and 10 of the best currently playing in the college ranks.

"It's a real honor to be considered one of the best point guards in the country and I am excited about being around some of the great college point guards," Beard said.

Beard arrived a day late for the NBPA camp because of travel conflicts, but made an impact once he did arrive.

"I thought I played really well and I got a chance to go up against some guys like (Florida commit) Chris Chiozza of Memphis," Beard said. "Like I said it was great competition and we are all getting better. I am sure I am going to see those guys on the nerxt level."

The NBPA Camp also allowed Beard the chance to learn from current NBA players Andre Miller, John Lucas, Jr., Andre Iguodala and Jerry Stackhouse.

"We were in class a lot and those guys talked about how to handle things both on and off the court," Beard said. "It was cool being around them. They've been where I am trying to go."

Beard is hoping his performance at the Williams camp will lead to an invited to the LeBron James camp July 5-9 in San Diego.

"Apparently if I do well at this camp I will get the chance to go to that one," noted Beard of the camp that invites the top 80 high school players regardless of position.

Beard, who played off guard the past three seasons at Little Rock Parkview, has been playing point guard this summer for his Team Penny AAU squad.

He averaged 13 points and 4 assists in the four sessions of the EYBL and has led his squad to an 11-7 record and a berth in the Nike Peach Jam July 10-14 in North Augusta, S.C.

"That's our only games the rest of the summer," Beard said.

Beard has played the last three seasons for Little Rock Parkview, but has transferred to North Little Rock – where he has lived all along.

He joins a talented Charging Wildcats roster that will also include 6-3 junior guard KeVaughn Allen, 6-1 junior guard K.J. Hill, 6-4 sophomore guard Adrian Moore and 6-10 junior Sam Dunkham.

Hill transferred from Bryant, Moore from Conway and Dunkham from Little Rock Christian and certainly help North Little Rock's chances to repeat at Class 7A state champions.

"We've had a chance to get together some this summer and I think we are going to be really good," Beard said.

Beard will be playing point guard for the Charging Wildcats although obviously others will be handling the ball.

"We are all versatile, but the plan is for me to be the point guard and go from there," Beard said. "I think it is going to be hard to defend us and having him (Dunkham) around will certainly help us out when it comes to rebounding and defense."

Anton Beard

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