Courtesy / Grant Anticevich

IN-DEPTH: Australian Cal commit Grant Anticevich breaks down his pledge to Cal

Australian forward Grant Anticevich goes in-depth on his Cal commitment, how he and the Bears came together, his official visit and more.

It's been just over two and a half months since brand-new commit Grant Anticevich first showed up on California's radar. He first sent the Bears highlight film in December of 2016, right before he embarked on a high school basketball tour of Texas with his Brisbane (Queensland, Aus.) Newtown College team, playing in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston.

"I went on a high school basketball tour with my high school basketball team, to the States, at the beginning of this year, and I sent the Cal coaches some video of me playing," Anticevich said via phone, from his home in Australia. "A couple people in Australia knew a few of the coaches at Cal, and spoke to them. I sent them some more film, and they started talking to me in late January, and early February."

Anticevich, contrary to recruiting norms here, actually got his recruiting start after he graduated -- he finished his senior year with the end of the school year in December. The Bears coaches did their homework with the 6-foot-8, 210-pound Australian, thanks to a few well-placed eyes down under, and after an official visit last week, he pulled the trigger on Wednesday.

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"I just thought it was a fantastic school, and a few of the coaches suggested it to me, and, obviously, it being a great academic institution, I knew it would be a great place," Anticevich said. "The people in Australia suggesting it, getting to know the coaches, I just kind of liked it, and I think it's a great place."

Anticevich saw just what kind of place Berkeley was during his official visit, surrounding Cal's loss to then-No. 6 Oregon on Feb. 22, along with his parents -- Sinthia, a professor at the Sydney University who teaches pharmacology and researches asthema, and John, a dentist.

"I've been [to the United States] a few times before -- I've been on a few visits to other schools, some unofficial, and one other official, and I've been on a few basketball tours with my high school before that -- so I've been to the states a few times," Anticevich said. "While we were there, we watched Cal play Oregon, and just spent time, meeting and getting to know the coaching staff, getting to know the basketball staff, people at the school. I got to watch them practice twice, and I met with the strength and conditioning coach, and he talked about what they do, in terms of the strength and conditioning, and he talked to me about what they do, in terms of their daily routine -- how often they train, and what their daily schedule looks like in terms of classes and school life." Anticevich immediately formed a close bond with the coaching staff, and it didn't take long for him to feel like Berkeley would be the place for him.

"It was just the people," he said. "Coach Cuonzo Martin and his entire staff are incredible. They're such great, genuine people. I just loved them as soon as I met them, and I knew that those were the type of people that I wanted to be around, and I just loved them as soon as I met them. That was the main thing -- just how good the people were. I just knew that was the type of people I wanted to be around."

Because he came during the week, Anticevich wasn't able to go to classes with players, but he did spend time with player host Charlie Moore.

After the visit to Cal, the Anticevich family flew across the country to see Davidson in North Carolina, but even at that point, Anticevich had a notion that he'd wind up back in Berkeley.

"I went to the official visit to Davidson, and went there for two days, and I got back to Australia on Tuesday," Anticevich said. "I made my decision on Wednesday, but I was pretty confident that I knew what I wanted to do, and the place that I felt I could improve and learn, both academically and on the basketball court.

"To be honest, when I got on the plane [to Australia], I already knew that I wanted to go to Cal. I knew that the people, the basketball and the academics would be a great fit for me, and I knew that it was a place that I really, really wanted to go, and it was a place where, in the long term, I could become the best that I could be. I kind of felt, I wanted to give it a bit, just to make sure, but on the plane, I was thinking about it, and I was pretty confident. I knew early on that that's where I wanted to go." Anticevich is interested broadly in psychology, in terms of what he wants to study when he gets through the student visa process. The Anticevich family is well-traveled clan; Grant is a second-generation Australian, after his grandparents moved from Croatia.

"I'm not sure exactly which path I want to take, but psychology is something that interests me, and it's something you can study that you can apply in a lot of areas," Anticevich said. "It's a versatile thing to learn. That was something that really interested me."

Anticevich scored a 38 out of 45 possible points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, and his Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a 97 out of 100. Given his parents' academic background, they were both supportive of Anticevich's decision to study thousands of miles away. 

"They support me 100 percent, and they're very happy for me to go, and do what I want to do," Anticevich said. "They're very happy that I'm going ... I just love the energy of the place. Being a big school with lots of students, and lots of diversity, in the type of students -- people from all over the world -- you can just tell that it's a place full of energy, and I love how there are people constantly walking around campus. It's just a great environment to be in, I think." Top Stories