School may be out and Melvin Anthony may have been one of 428 who graduated from Killeen High School earlier this summer, but he is in no way taking it easy before college begins.
With his high school coursework done, Anthony has been hitting the weights and looking to gain 10 pounds before the start of the 2014-15 season.
“Now that school’s over, I have more free time,” Anthony said. “That’s where I’ve been most of the summer.”
Anthony will be heading out of state to play for the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith beginning this season. He made the commitment final in November during a signing ceremony at the Killeen High gym.
He earned all-District 8-5A honors as a senior after playing in the post and helping Killeen to a 21-13 record and a trip to the playoffs.
Though the Roos faced tough opposition in the first round, Killeen proved to be a difficult out against No. 3 DeSoto.
Anthony scored six points in the game, but the 6-foot-6 post combined with 6-4 teammate Brian Long to hound Baylor signee T.J. Maston every time he touched the ball.
Maston finished the game with only six points and DeSoto had difficulty distancing itself from Killeen. The Eagles led by four points at halftime and after three quarters, and Desoto led 34-32 with 1:08 remaining in the game.
Though that proved to be the final prep game for Anthony, it was a learning experience.
“After that game, I realized that if you play as a team, you could beat just about anybody,” Anthony said. “They were ranked in the state and we weren’t, but we just about beat them because we played as a team. It was all about teamwork.”
After that, he turned his attention to getting ready for the next challenge, basketball at the collegiate level.
Though he was a post in high school, Anthony will likely switch to forward at UAFS and needed to add some muscle to bring his weight up from 185 pounds to 195.
“Basically you have to maintain a good diet and you have to go to the gym every day,” Anthony said. “I’m almost there.”
It hasn’t been all barbells and weights as Anthony is also in the gym working on his mid-range shot.
Anthony will be going to college at a campus that is more than 400 miles away from Killeen so he admitted there would be some adjustment to college life. But academically he is prepared.
Not only did he graduate in the top 3 percent of the class, but Anthony was also in the prestigious International Baccalaureate Program and a member of the National Honor Society.
“My mom’s never been satisfied with a B, so I’ve always been pushed to get good grades. Even when I was in elementary school, I was rewarded for getting good grades, so it motivated me there as well.”
UAFS is an NCAA Division II school that plays in the Heartland Conference.
The Lions finished with a record of 21-7 last season, including a 14-4 conference mark, and made a trip to the NCAA Division II South Regional Tournament.
Anthony could get his first collegiate minutes when UAFS visits Utah State for an exhibition game on Nov. 7.
For him, bus trips to Waco and Dallas are replaced with taking a plane to places like Denver and Logan, Utah, during the early portion of the schedule.
“In Utah, the whole team is going to have to get used to the elevation,” Anthony said. “That’s something we’re going to have to tackle when we get there.”