Forest Park's Anton Waters 'owns the court'
When Forest Park coach Greate White first met Anton Waters, the Calverton Middle School student was just "a tall but skinny kid with an afro."
It wasn’t long before White – who was then coaching at Walbrook – got a chance to see that skinny kid in action on the basketball court. Waters immediately put on a show for his future coach.
“He can rebound and be the best rebounder in the state -- that was my first impression of this kid,” White said. “After awhile, knowing the kid and seeing him work, other things with him besides rebounding were that this kid is very athletic and he has a big heart. He don’t back down from nothing. He wants every challenge.”
Waters -- one of Baltimore's top prospects in the 2013 class -- came off the bench in his first game as a freshman on Walbrook’s varsity last year. In the Warriors’ next game, Waters was added to the starting lineup and never relinquished that spot. He finished his freshman year leading Walbrook in double doubles.
When White took the coaching job at Forest Park last summer, Waters put in his transfer papers and joined the Foresters.
“I had my coaches with me, Coach White and Coach [Darrick] ‘Baseline’ [Oliver],” Waters said. “They made it real easy for me.”
With Waters and shooting guard Quentin Judd – another Walbrook transfer – leading the way, Forest Park (17-6) won 13 more games than the previous year. The Foresters fell to Northwestern in the Baltimore City Division II championship game, and later advanced to the region semifinals.
The sophomore success of Waters – who averaged 14.5 points and 12 rebounds – didn’t surprise White.
“It’s his heart and his dedication,” White said. “He refuses to lose. He will not let you do anything to him. If he’s on the court with grown men, he would tell you this is his court. He owns the court. Even with pro players, he believes he can check anyone, and with the ball in his hands, nobody can check him.”
Said Waters: “For my sophomore year, I think everything went fine.”
Waters is playing for Team Melo’s 16-and-under team this spring. His time on the AAU circuit last year, which included a strong showing at the Super Showcase AAU tournament in Orlando, caught the attention of several college programs.
White said Florida Gulf Coast, Iona, Minnesota, Penn State, Tulane, UNC-Wilmington, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech have all shown interest in Waters. The sophomore has a basic piece of criteria for picking a college.
“[I’ll choose] the school that helps me most to achieve my goals,” Waters said.
Waters said college coaches have been impressed with his rebounding and aggressiveness. White hopes Waters uses this summer to add other elements to his game.
“I want to see him work more on ball handling,” White said. “I think that we’ll work on the perimeter game. His jump shot is coming around. He’s working on that consistency with his mid-range jump shot. … We played over in a D.C. tournament [with Team Melo last weekend] and he hit some mid-range pull-ups and knocked down that shot. He’s definitely working on that type of skill.”