Gill ready for 'wild' Derby Classic scene

Anton Gill has already played in front of a packed house of University of Louisville fans one time during the season, Now, Gill is back in Louisville and will get a chance to play in front of his future fans again in the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic on Friday night at Freedom Hall.

Anton Gill said he knows the University of Louisville fan base is "crazy," after playing in front of a packed house here in January.

Gill, who signed with the Cardinals last November, will be a freshman next season and U of L and is back in town this week to let the fans get another chance to see him on the hardwood.

The 6-foot-4 Gill, a native of Raleigh, N.C., who played his senior season at Hargrave Military Academy, is one of four future U of L players to compete in the 40th annual Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic.

The game will be held on Friday night at Freedom Hall, while he was in the dunk contest and three-point shootout last night at Floyd Central.

"I have been excited to do it since I got invited," Gill said. "The fans here are always great. It was wild in January and was a lot of fun.

"I can't wait to see the fans again. I'm just very excited and it's almost time for me to come here for good, so that makes it even better."

Gill is considered one of the top 50 prospects in the country and is one of three top guards – along with Terry Rozier and Chris Jones – expected to come into U of L next season and compete for playing time in the backcourt.

"They want me to come in and be ready," Gill said. "The coaches talk a lot about me finishing, doing a better job of finishing so I keep working on that."

While Gill has been committed to U of L for almost two years and signed since November, he said the past few weeks have been the best. He received "a lot of texts and messages" from family and friends after U of L won the national title.

"I was really excited to watch them," he said. "I'm happy they were able to get it done and I want to help us do it again next year.

"The bar is set high."

Gill said U of L coach Rick Pitino has never talked about a starting position but the coach said "I will have a chance to play right away."

"I just have to keep working and I have been working hard this season and this spring," he said. "I am in a lot better shape and mentally, I am so much better, than I was when I (went to Hargarve).

"I went in and was hurt early in the year. Over the course of the year, I became smarter, a lot stronger and a lot quicker. I am a lot better prepared for Louisville now than I was before I went there."

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