Senior Signs Letter of Intent to Play Basketball for Southern Arkansas University
St. Michael senior Anthony Igiede signed his college letter of intent to play basketball for Southern Arkansas University last week.
Igiede’s interest in basketball began when he was around 9 years old after watching LeBron James play in the NBA finals. “I was inspired. That was the first game ever I remember watching, and I thought ‘ok this looks cool.’ From there my dad signed me up to play in my first basketball league with the YMCA,” he explains. Having no prior experience did not keep Igiede from quickly gaining traction on the court as a middle schooler. “I had never played before that, so I started watching videos on YouTube and begin training myself to play basketball.”
Another reason for his success, adds Igiede, is the support he has received from his family and coaches along the way. “My family has always been my biggest supporters. My parents sacrificed their time taking me to tournaments and practices when I was younger. They allowed me to focus a lot of my time on basketball,” he shares. “The coaches at St. Michael encouraged me to open up more from day one and taught me how to be a leader. When you have someone holding you accountable, it forces you to be better every day.”
Igiede was a key leader on the St. Michael High School varsity team over the last four years, mostly playing the position of forward, although he is versatile enough to play shooting guard as well. Despite suffering an injury at the beginning of the season, he still managed to become part of the exclusive 1,000-point club this year. In the history of St. Michael basketball, only 12 other players have conquered this feat. He is a two-time All-District player as well as an All-State Honorable Mention qualifier. He is also a frontrunner in the classroom, averaging above a 3.5 GPA over his four years as a Warrior.
SMHS Head Basketball Coach, Drew Hart, says that he is excited to see Igiede play collegiately. “Anthony will be a wonderful asset for Southern Arkansas’s basketball program,” he shares. “He was a pleasure to coach because he has a great work ethic and is a fantastic leader. He was always very supportive of his teammates, and they looked to him because of his leadership qualities. I think Anthony has untapped potential. He is a very smart kid that picks up on new stuff very quickly. His basketball IQ and work ethic will carry him far at the next level.”
Igiede says that he most looks forward to playing basketball at the collegiate level because it is a higher level of competition. “The best thing about basketball is the competition and playing in college is something that I have looked forward to as a kid.” Although he is excited about playing for a new school and a new team, he admits that St. Michael basketball left him with some fond memories. “I want to thank all the St. Michael fans who showed up to games to support us” he shares in closing.