For years, Cole Anthony was billed as The One. The latest, after a hiatus, in a long list of elite New York City point guards. He had the pedigree and the support system in place. He had the inner drive and needed athletic gifts.
Tuesday morning, he took a major step toward reaching the incredibly high expectations that have been set for him, announcing his commitment to North Carolina and coach Roy Williams, joining a select club of local stars who were good enough to land a scholarship to wear the powder blue of the powerhouse ACC school.
“I always wanted to play on the highest level,” the 6-foot-3 Anthony, the son of former Knicks guard and NBA broadcaster Greg Anthony, told The Post. “They have a winning culture, and I want to be a part of it.”
“It’s a validation of all of his work work he’s been putting in,” said his mother, Crystal McCrary-McGuire. “It’s the next step in his journey.”
Anthony, a consensus top-three prospect in the country, picked the Tar Heels over Notre Dame, Georgetown and Oregon. He praised the recruiting efforts of all the schools that doggedly chased him, and in particular raved about the relationships he built with Oregon assistant coach Mike Mennenga, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey and Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing, his father’s former Knicks teammate and a close family friend. Ultimately, though, North Carolina’s winning tradition, style of play and the bond he built with Williams won out. Anthony wanted to play for a coach who would push him to excel, but also whom he felt comfortable with, and Williams possessed both of those characteristics.
“I just think he’s a really genuine guy,” Anthony, from the Upper West Side, said. “He cares about all of his players. He’s more than a terrific coach. He’s a great person.”