Last week, the Missouri Tigers received a verbal commitment from 2014 PG Anton Beard 6'1" 175 Little Rock (AR) Parkview. Beard plays for Team Thad, an AAU team out of Memphis that is sponsored by NBA player Thaddeus Young of the Philadelphia 76'ers. Last year, Beard was named to the 2011-2012 USA Developmental National Team.
ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with Beard after he returned home from Greensboro, North Carolina, where he had spent the weekend as a participant in Chris Paul's CP3 camp for elite point guards. At the CP3 Camp, Beard won a 1-on-1 competition and was awarded an opportunity to play 1-on-1 against Chris Paul. Paul secured a 3-2 victory over Beard with back-to-back 3-PT makes. He also got to spend time with current Missouri players Mike Dixon and Phil Pressey.
"I feel great about (being a Missouri Tiger)," said Anton Beard, talking about his commitment to Missouri. "Missouri's a winning program. And now that they're in the SEC, I'll be playing closer to home. And, I want to be a part of their winning program!"
Beard said that he had developed a good relationship with Coach Tim Fuller over the past year or so, and that he enjoyed his visit to Missouri last month. Beard and his family are planning to visit Missouri again this week.
"I want to get my family used to the school," explained Beard, talking about his mid-week visit to Missouri.
Beard said that he really enjoyed his CP3 Camp experience, getting to play against Chris Paul, and getting to know Mike Dixon and Phil Pressey.
I asked Beard what it is that he does best on the court?
"I guard the other team's best player," said Beard, without hesitation.
I asked Anton Beard if Chris Paul was a tough guard?
"Yes sir," replied Beard, "a very tough guard!"
"He's a two-time state champion," said Beard's father, Floyd, speaking of some of his son's accomplishments. "He's an AAU champion. He was sophomore of the year in Arkansas."
Beard is a versatile left-handed shooter who averaged 12.5 points per game as a freshman and 16.8 points per game and as a sophomore on Parkview's state championship teams. His father said that Beard, whom he described as a "scoring point guard", shoots nearly 50% from behind the arc. He also said that he believes that his son is still growing.
The younger Beard cited "Missouri's style of play" as a major influence in his decision. I asked his mother if she thinks that Anton is still growing?
"Definitely," replied Anton's mother. "He's going through a growth spurt right now."
Anton Beard will be back in Colorado Springs this weekend for the USA National Team workouts.