Although Har-Ber High's Michael Sanchez is the only Arkansan listed on the Reebok ABCD Camp roster this week, he is not the only one who played his high school basketball in the state last season.
There's also 6-10, 210-pound junior-to-be Anthony Randolph, who played at North Little Rock as a 6-9 forward last season, but is originally from Pasadena, Calif., and could be back there next season.
"I'm not sure what I am going to do right now whether it be to go back to California, stay in Little Rock or play somewhere else," Randolph said. "A lot of that is going to be determined after this camp and how I play the rest of the season and what opportunities there might be out there for me. I'd really like to get back to California."
Those who saw Randolph play last season for the Charging Wildcats might be surprised to learn he is now rated as the 20th-best sophomore in the nation by Scout.com.
How does one jump from the not even being the best sophomore in Arkansas to being one of the best in the country?
For Randolph - who is just 15 and had not played organized basketball before last season - it happened by a standout performance at the Pangos All-American Camp on the campus of UCLA.
He also has impressed while playing for the Los Angeles Paladins AAU squad this summer.
"I been knowing I could play, but it was just a matter of time before somebody important like you guys saw it," Randolph said. "Now that people know who I am I have to push it even harder."
He is averaging 5.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in his first three games here at Reebok, one that was a matchup against 7-0 Ohio State commit Greg Oden in a 71-29 loss.
"He's something else to handle, but I just tried to battle," said Randolph, who had six points while Oden had 16. "It definitely shows me I have to keep getting stronger."
Randolph, who just played football in junior high and has grown from 6-6 to 6-10 in 16 months, knows that camps like Reebok are guard oriented and so he says he has tried to adjust accordingly.
"Basically I just try to play defense hard because in these type of situations you are not going to get the ball that much," Randolph said. "So I am just trying to block shots and rebound."
He moved with his parents to North Little Rock before his sophomore season, but found himself playing center and not really wanting to do that for a team that ended up making it to the Class AAAAA state tournament before being ousted by Forrest City.
"I played mostly the five," Randolph said. "I respected what he was doing because I was the tallest person out there and I thought I did pretty good. But I am more of a 4 and maybe even a 3."
He yearns to get back to California.
"I just love it there more than anything and would really like to get back there," Randolph said. "I guess it is a family decision and how well I play this summer. We're still just looking it all over. There's still a chance I might even play somewhere else in Arkansas. I just don't know right now."
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