``When I first got him, he couldn't chew bubble gum and walk," Brown said. "He couldn't play a lick."
The 7-footers progress over the past year is impressive. Actually, impressive enough that he's earned the No. 41 spot in the Class of 2007 national rankings.
``I've had plenty of big-time players," said Brown, who has coached Kevin Durant, Jonathan Hargett, Deron Washington and numerous other D-1 players. "One of the things that makes Anthony one of the best I've had is that he's very coachable, has great hands, is long and is mobile for a kid his size."
McClain averaged a modest five points and a handful of rebounds per game as a sophomore, but he continued his progress while playing with D.C. Assault this past spring and summer.
When the Trenton, N.J., native first arrived at National Christian, it was a running joke among the team how many pushups he could do.
``He couldn't do three of them when he first got here," Brown said. "Everyone on the team wanted to wait and see how many he could do."
Now the 16-year-old McClain is the one laughing as pushups are no longer a problem.
``I think I've gotten a lot better in all areas since I've been here," McClain said. "When I first got here, everyone else could do pushups and I couldn't. I just pushed myself."
McClain said that the campus environment will be critical in deciding where he wants to go to college – and one school has already emerged as a clear leader.
``My number one school so far is Georgetown," said McClain, who also mentioned Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Kansas. "I like the environment, the coaches and the people. It's a fun place and I fit in so well there."