LAS VEGAS — It was a given that the Arkansas basketball coaching staff would be following the Arkansas Hawks AAU basketball squad this spring and summer.
In large part, that's because 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward Clarence Trent, a Washington State native and current Findley Prep standout, would once again be playing for the Hawks.
But raw West Memphis big man Anthony Borden (6-11, 215), who is playing in the Reebok Summer Championships here this week, has given Razorback coach John Pelphrey and his assistants another reason to eye the Hawks intently.
"It's become clear over the spring and summer that this kid is a definite high D-I major prospect," Hawks coach Bill Ingram said. "He is just so raw because he has only played basketball for one year. His potential is just through the roof."
Borden, who averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds for West Memphis, already has offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Wichita State and Bradley and just picked up one from Missouri on Monday.
"Here's a kid that has grown an inch and is a legit 6-11 now," Ingram said. "Also one of the more interesting things about him is, in a time when kids do some stuff differently, he is old school in that he is a yes-sir, no-sir guy who is as good a kid as you are going to find out there."
The Hawks opened pool play in the Reebok Summer Championships, on Tuesday night with a 66-64 loss to Nevada-based Triple Double Elite East and thus will likely have to win both of their games on Wednesday to advance to the championship bracket.
Oklahoma State commit Fred Gulley of Fayetteville had 20 points while Trent added 12 and Borden 11.
"This is a big tournament for Anthony," Ingram said. "He has been through some wars already this spring and summer and now he'll get to see some great competition. I am excited to see how he does and I have confident he is going to show a lot this week."
Ingram, who said Borden would likely already be a top 50 player nationally if he had played more than a year, notes there is no doubt how Arkansas stands with Borden.
"Arkansas is his favorite," Ingram said. "That's something I am sure of."
Borden says that is indeed the case.
"I really like the school and the coaches," the extremely shy Borden said. "I have just been working this summer trying to get better on my post game. I think it is coming along."
The Hawks would normally be ending up the summer with this Las Vegas tournament, but a semifinal berth in GBOA tournament in Atlanta recently earned them a berth in the national tournament.
"We'll play in the GBOA national tournament in Chicago on August 14th, 15th and 16th," Ingram said. "We played really well in that tournament."
The Hawks did not fare as well at the Battle on the Bluff this past weekend, but there was a pretty good reason.
"Because of some different things and conflicts people had, we only had five players for that," Ingram said. "We battled, but in a couple of games we finished with just four players. We won one of those and ended up winning the consolation bracket."
Trent missed a couple of tournaments this summer to take a couple of summer school classes in Pine Bluff.
"Clarence is working on putting a list together of schools, but he really has no front-runner right now," Ingram said. "I know that Arkansas is one of his favorites. I don't know when he will make his mind up. With Clarence, it could be almost immediately or he could take a couple of more months."
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