Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Beejay Anya’s phone is blowing up.
Or, more accurately, the home phone of his parents, Ben and MaryAnne, is blowing up.
“I think we have had like 16 or 18 [phonecalls Wednesday],” said Ben Anya, the father of the 6-foot-7, 250-pound sophomore center from DeMatha Catholic.
Wednesday at midnight marked the first time college coaches could call 2013 prospects and Anya, the No. 2 center in that class per Rivals, was a hot target.
Because Beejay was on his way to the NBA Top 100 Camp in Virginia, his parents answered the calls when the home phone rang.
“It feels good, but it’s not done yet,” said Ben, who was born in Nigeria. “We still working for him being a better man, and a better basketball player.”
Ben said a Duke assistant (he wasn’t sure which one) was among those to call.
“We just heard from Duke [Wednesday],” he said. “We never knew that Duke was interested…They said that Coach [Mike] Krzyzewski would get in touch with us.”
Texas, Rutgers, Syracuse, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Miami and Florida were among the other schools to call. Most of those schools have offered, as has UCLA, to which Anya took a visit during the recent EYBL stop in L.A.
A member of the USA U16 Developmental Team, Anya helped lead DeMatha to a 29-7 record and a state runner-up finish. He started all 36 games and averaged 10.0 ppg., 11.0 rpg. and 6.3 bpg.
Stephanie Anya, Beejay’s older sister, is a junior center at American University.
Like most Africans, Ben played soccer growing up in Nigeria.
After his parents moved to the U.S., Beejay was born in Cheverly, Md., and now the family lives in Gaithersburg. But Beejay did not begin playing basketball until he was 11.
“He wanted to play football,” Ben recalled. “But he was weighing like 147 pounds so we couldn’t get a weight class for him to play football.”
At that point, Beejay made the switch to basketball…and now the move is beginning to pay off.
(Photo courtesy Ben Anya)
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.