Anthony Black needs to play high school ball this season!!!!!
Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Consensus Top 20 national prospect Class of 2022 6'7" point guard Anthony Black of Duncanville, TX High School is in limbo right now. He's #5 in the country on Big Tim's list. He has been ruled ineligible to play at Duncanville by the UIL which is the governing body for high school sports in Texas: https://www.dallasnews.com/high-school-sports/basketball/2021/10/13/duncanville-five-star-guard-anthony-black-is-ruled-ineligible-by-uil-state-executive-committee/. You need a subscription to read all the details. Let's just say it's a total mess. The young man was done in by adults and their own motives. That road has been gone down and done. This is about what needs to be done moving forward in the situation. I'll start from last season:
UNRANKED TO TOP 20 IN AMERICA:
This time last year he was unranked and largely unknown outside of Texas. He was more of a football prospect at wide receiver than basketball. He was a two sport star at Coppell High School, Coppell, Tx. He was known as a dynamic duo with Class of 2022 prospect Ryan Agrawal who's a Stanford commit. They played high school ball and travel ball together playing for independent 3D Empire based out of Grapevine,TX. Both players were playing well in the games that they did have against other shoe company teams. Problem was no matter how well they played, no one was really looking at either. Concentration in the grassroots world is always on the shoe company players. Coppell had a pretty good high school season being district champs and losing in the area round of the playoffs. Black at this point started separating himself as a prospect. The upward trajectory continued in the travel season as 3D Empire played in the newly constructed Circuit League. It had a mix of teams from all shoe companies competing in it. 3D Empire won some big time games in Louisville(over Under Armour Champ Illinois Wolves), and winning the NY2LA Independent Championship as well as the Circuit League title in Las Vegas.Meanwhile Anthony Black's profile started rising, into top 100, then top 50 as the national rankings updated their rankings. By the time he won MVP of the Circuit League Championship and Regular Season, he moved up to Top 20 by end of summer.
TRANSFER TO DUNCANVILLE:
Travel ball ended and school started. Anthony Black had been wanting to play for a high profile school in Texas for a couple of years now according to his father. Duncanville is as high profile as it gets in Texas, and there was a family connection to the Head Coach. I won't go into that as it is well documented in the Dallas Morning News article. He was joining a loaded team and would give them needed senior leadership and a Top 20 national talent. The upward trajectory of his game, his brand, and national ranking would continue, till the DEC and UIL came into the picture. Coppell protested by saying the move was for athletic reasons. I'll just say at this point I know more details about this than most would think. I'll move onto the point of the title.
WHAT TO DO NEXT?
He's been ruled ineligible at Duncanville and was upheld on appeal. What to do now? Stay at Duncanville and play junior varsity basketball? Sit out the season and just work out? Transfer to a prep school? Find a private school in Texas to play for? Go back to Coppell? Whatever it is, he needs to play somewhere this season.
STAY AT DUNCANVILLE:
I say that is not a good option. Practice with the team all season and have your game stagnate playing junior varsity basketball? Some will say he's practicing against and with high level talent, but it is not the same as playing in actual games for your senior season. Trying to wait for the UIL to somehow reverse this decision? Don't see that happening with what has come out about the situation. Opinion is he needs to leave Duncanville, the sooner the better.
SIT OUT THE SEASON:
Another bad option. Practicing the whole season and not getting game action will stagnate his game and put him behind other national prospects at his level. As the season comes closer, Black will get anxious because he's a competitor at heart and wants to be out on the court playing and helping his teammates.
PRIVATE SCHOOL IN TEXAS:
I'll admit I don't have much information about how private schools work in Texas. I do know the tuition can be high as with most private schools. If the family can afford it this might be the way. The competition level may not be the greatest, but he's at least getting game action and his skills will not rust.
GO BACK TO COPPELL:
I personally feel the ship has sailed with this one as they protested the move, and hard feelings between the family and school likely cannot be overcome. I think his teammates would accept him back because they have been playing with him for years. I do think the family would not want Black to play for that coach again.
This is the best option for Anthony Black. I've talked to some friends of mine, a few who coach in the Grind Session and other places. ANTHONY BLACK IS IN HIGH DEMAND!!! A lot of them would take him in a heart beat. He would be playing against top competition, enjoying as best he can his last season of high school basketball. Grind Session is one of the top high school leagues in America. Dream City Christian in Arizona is probably about to have an opening. #1 Player in America Shaedon Sharpe is seriously considering going to Kentucky in December for the second semester. Anthony Black would fit in seamlessly with that team. I know it would be hard for Anthony to leave his younger brother Beckham, who he is very close to, but it's a year earlier than expected as next summer he'll be leaving for college.
I waited to mention this one last. Anthony Black has had a lot of momentum and a big move up the rankings the last year. Playing somewhere this season will keep that going upward. Being a McDonald's All-American stays with you forever. Jordan Brand, Nike Hoop Summit, and Allen Iverson All-American helps your brand. No, it does not guarantee you make the NBA, but it's a great start to your branding. Also with Name, Image, and Likeness in college basketball, it's another reason to take advantage of your branding. Sitting out likely precludes all these honors for Black. It would also possibly limit how much he makes in college with NIL. Having these honors on your resume helps your negotiating power big time with companies for NIL. Anthony Black and the decision makers around him need to think about this seriously. Yes his family may not get to see him play his senior year if he goes to prep school, but at least he's playing. He's keeping his game sharp and getting good competition to get his game ready for college. Rankings are not everything but there is a difference in your marketing being a 5 star than a 4 star.
Sitting out and not playing could have you fall behind your peers as it would make your adjustment to college basketball harder. Some folks that sit out their high school season stagnate and never catch up. Do not bring that possible element into messing up the rest of this young man's career. Adults in this situation need to not think about themselves and think about Anthony Black and his future. The adults in his circle have been big in helping Anthony Black get to this point in his career. Some of you are not used to this sudden fame and attention on him and his game. It's time to think practically and put the young man in the best position to succeed. He needs to play somewhere this season, or it could go south on him and his career. Yes, he could still succeed even with sitting out the season, but why take that chance? It's not like the young man does not have options to play this season. Anthony Black should be playing high school ball somewhere this season. Think about his future. This is all about him and no one else.