Anthony 'itching' to get on court for debut with Wellington Saints
He's done his time as a role player - now BJ Anthony is ready to be the main man in the low post as he prepares to make his Wellington Saints debut tonight before eyeing the Southland Sharks in Invercargill tomorrow night.
The 25-year-old power forward learnt a lot as a bit-part player in the Adelaide 36ers' run to the Australian NBL grand final series last month, where they lost in three games to the Perth Wildcats.
The Tall Black averaged 4.4 points and 3.4 rebounds off the bench for the 36ers, but has the ability to dominate the New Zealand NBL. He did just that last year, averaging 20 points and eight rebounds to earn selection in the league's all-star five while leading the Otago Nuggets to the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
"I've been itching to get over here," said Anthony, who has had a full week of practise since arriving from Adelaide. "In Adelaide I was a role player and I'm hungry to play some minutes. My job is to make an impact straight away. We've been lacking an inside scoring presence and that's what I'm here to bring, along with some toughness and rebounding, to help Elijah [Obade] and Damien [Ekenasio] out down there."
Anthony said signing with the Saints was an easy decision after they made him an offer "I couldn't refuse".
Corey Webster (his Wellington flatmate) and Lindsay Tait are close friends while he also knows Dion Prewster from his time at the NZ Breakers.
"I've always wanted to come down to the Saints," Anthony said. "It's probably the best organisation in the competition - for a million reasons. I wanted to play with Corey and Lindsay and try and win a championship. I haven't won a championship yet and I thought this was the best situation I could put myself in to try and get one."
Anthony said the Saints were hungry to make amends for Sunday's shock loss to the last-placed Super City Rangers in Auckland.
Wellington will play Nelson tonight before heading to Invercargill to play the Sharks.
The Southland Times