Jody Demling

Orlando, Fla., guard Anfernee Simons has committed to the University of Louisville but he's still not satisfied

Orlando, Fla., guard Anfernee Simons has committed to the University of Louisville but he's still not satisfied.

Anfernee Simons was in the sixth grade when he scored 35 points in a single game.

But after the game his father, Charles, was not pleased with Simons, noting now that he wanted his son to be better with his all-around game.

"I wasn't happy with it," Charles told Cardinal Authority. "I just felt like scoring was going to come and a lot of people can score, but I wanted im to be more all-around. I wanted him to be good at everything.

"I've always felt like he was good, but honestly I still don't think I've realized just how good he can be."

And Simons, who committed to the University of Louisville in November, said it was that expectation level from his father and AAU coach Kenny Gillion that have helped get him to the level he is as a player.

The 6-foot-3 Simons is ranked as the No. 32 player in the Class of 2018 by and has been one of the best players on the Under Armour circuit so far this spring.

"After I started getting a little better and started scoring the ball a lot, I saw people noticing me and then I realized if I worked hard then I will get a lot better," Simons said. "I just had to work harder than the next guy.

"I think for me, I was a late-bloomer. I don't think I was really that good until a year and a half or two years ago. I was playing it just because I was naturally good at it. After a while, I decided I wanted it more."

Charles Simons, who grew up in Nashville, Tenn., said he hooked up with Gillion at an early age to help with his son. The elder Simons played high school basketball but didn't play beyond high school level.

"I didn't work as hard as I should have when I was growing up," the father said. "I was like OK, this can be a life lesson. So, I always stressed with (Anfernee) that you have to work harder than you want to get where you need to be."

While his father has been "tough on my son," Tameka Simons said she's the "soft side" for her son.

"His dad is tougher on him than I am," she said. "I'm there more for encouragement, so it balances out.

"Is he a momma's boy? Sort of. He's just a quiet kid who doesn't crave a lot of attention, he's a really grounded kid."

Anfernee Simons has always been one of the better players at his age level, but has really taken a step towards the elite level each of the last two offseasons. He was an All-State performer as a junior for Orlando Edgewater and helped them to the state title game.

"I'm a mom, I always felt like he was better than the other guys he played against," Tameka said. "But I rememver when he was six or seven, people would always say I will see you in the NBA some day and he would smile at them.

"You never really think about that but once he got to high school and the maturation process took over, I thought he could be special."

And he has become very special.

With more than a dozen scholarship offers from some of the elite schools in the country, Simons opted to commit to Louisville. He said it was "the perfect spot for me," for a number of reasons.

"(Rick Pitino) is the best coach in the country," Simons said. "So, that was huge for me to be able to play for him. He puts you in a position to score and to be successful. I can't wait to get there."

Simons' mother said the Louisville decision was a "no brainer."

"To me it was bigger than basketball, I wanted someone who builds a relationship outside of the game and that was big for me," she said. "I saw that with coach Pitino and with his former players."

But for Charles Simons, it was more than just Pitino and the program. The father grew up in Nashville and knew Ron Mercer, who he said talked glowingly of Pitino, and then there was his sons words.

"Ron Mercer played for coach Pitino and still loves him," Charles Simons said. "So, that was great to hear. He's the best coach in the country and his former players all love him. And then I'm not going to say I am superstitious, but four years ago someone ask Anfernee what his dream school was and he said Louisville. Fast forward and here we are."

Cardinal Authority Top Stories