2013 Intro: Anthony Barber

HAMPTON, Va. -- Big Cat was on the prowl this weekend for Boo Williams in the 2011 Southern Jam Fest, leading his team into the playoffs before losing in the quarterfinals.

"We had been playing well," said Anthony Barber. "Early in the morning we came out out and just wasn't ready to play... the better team won.

"We've been playing pretty good though. Last week we went down to Dallas and went 4-1. We've tried to continue winning and getting better."

Barber, just a sophomore but the starting point guard for Boo's 17-under squad, earned the nickname "Big Cat" from a relative when he was a child and it has stuck with him ever since.

"It came from my sister when I was little," Barber said. "I was always moving... she said I would never stay still. Plus I was fat then too so she would call me Big Cat all the time. It took off from there."

Barber is quickly becoming one of the top point guards in the 2013 class. He averaged 21 points per game this past season for Hampton (VA) High School, leading the Crabbers in scoring while being named Peninsula District Player of the Year and Honorable Mention All-State.

He is making a name for himself on the AAU circuit, following in the footsteps of notable college stars such as Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), Ronald Curry (UNC), Jarrett Jack (Georgia Tech), Kendall Marshall (UNC), and Chris Wright (Georgetown)... all former starting point guards for Boo Williams.

"It means a lot being able to play for Boo after some of the others that have been here," said Barber. "My goal is to go to college and be in the NBA one day, but I know I have to work like the others did. I've also got to get my school work done though so I can make it. If I work hard and try to get better I can achieve my goals.

"The thing with playing for Boo is I know he doesn't care about age. He gets the best players he can find, puts them together, and then we try to win as many games as we can."

Checking in at 6-foot-2 with long arms and terrific quickness, Barber is a disruptive force defensively and a terror for the opposition in transition. He can score attacking the basket but also has the vision to find open teammates. He says he patterns his game after a couple of outstanding young floor generals.

"In the NBA it's Derrick Rose and in college I'd say Kemba Walker," Barber stated. "They take over games as a point guard and do what they've got to do. There aren't many point guards that can score at will and take over games like they do."

Another impressive aspect of Barber's game is his ability to hit shots from the perimeter. He hit multiple three-pointers in the games we watched, both off the dribble and stationary. Barber is able to consistently work his way into the lane because of his quickness and slick handle, but he knows that having a reliable jumper is vital to his long-term success.

"I work hard on my shooting," he said. "At the beginning I didn't consider my jump shot to be strong, but I've worked on it. I know that as you get older you can't always get to the basket... you've got to pull up and knock down some jumpers so when I'm in the gym I work on it all the time."

His hard work has led to offers from three ACC schools.

"Right now I've got UVA, NC State, and V. Tech," he said. "Recruiting is going good, but I'm not really worried about it because I'm only in the 10th grade."

NC State extended a scholarship offer last week. What does he know about the Wolfpack?

"I really don't know too much about them," Barber said. "I know they are in the ACC... I've watched them on TV and everything, I just don't know much about them like that.

I mean I know about teams and things, but I never thought a team like NC State would be looking at me. It's a shock."

As a matter of fact, Barber admitted that he isn't focused on anyone. He knows that he has plenty of time to make a decision and when the time comes he will be ready.

"I just want to play ball," he said. "I just have to maintain what I'm doing and keep getting better. Then when the time comes I'm going to commit to the school that fits me the best.

"I've got a long time before I have to decide, but I'm going to look at them all and make the right decision. I'm just not dealing with recruiting right now."

Will NC State be under consideration?

"I'm going to look at them for sure."

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